Message to Scottie:
So now you're beaming yourself up? Sorry to have to inform you of this Scottie, but your job has always been to beam the others up, not yourself. For several years, it was your task to make others look good; to safely transport them to that vast clime where "no one has gone before." Before your debarkation, it was your job to transform dross into gold and water into wine. You were the one crew member whose job spec read "Protect us from our lies, our posturing and ourselves."
Scottie, have you misplaced the script? Have you forgotten the Prime Directive? Obviously you have. For in publishing What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, you are effectively beaming yourself up into the vast empyrean of mea culpa. That's simply not the way things are suppose to be.
Are we supposed to be grateful for your memoir? Are we supposed to rush out and purchase a copy, thereby paving over your guilt with gelt? I fear that that's what's going to happen, despite the fact that all the awful truths you've "revealed" most of us have long suspected in haunting principle -- if not known in absolute fact. And even if we agree with your take on how Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and the gang lied us into Iraq -- the lies they told about 9/11, Saddam, and WMDs -- the fact remains that not only did they [by your own admission] know all along they were telling lies, but you, you were the one giving voice to these lies, day in day out. You were the one beaming them up. As such, you are as culpable as the men and women who put these mendacities into your mouth.
Then there is the case of Valerie Plame. What Rove, Libby and the rest of the crew did in outing her -- and just to get back at her husband, Ambassador Wilson -- is 100% against the law. It doesn't really matter whether you were "misled" as you now claim; the damage was done, an actionable crime was committed.
I do agree that the White House press corps was too easy on you and the crew -- uh, administration -- on the run-up to Iraq. They showed an unconscionable lack of backbone and grit in not challenging every word, comma and semicolon. But please, do not tell us that you now wish they'd only asked the hard questions; you know in your heart of hearts that you would have swatted their questions away like noxious flies at a picnic.
Scottie, don't be too surprised if one day soon you wake up to discover that, short of beaming yourself to some celebrious haven, you have rematerialized in front of a hostile Congressional committee or federal grand jury. For the words, deeds, and machinations you have detailed in your book are, in the estimation of people with knowledge far greater than mine, legally actionable. Should it come to this, would you seek the cloak of immunity -- or forgetfulness? Do you understand that you may well have the power to underscore, highlight and make bold this administration's position as the absolute worst, most disastrous in American history?
Already, your erstwhile friends and compatriots are hurling lethal thunderbolts your way, characterizing you as nothing more than a "disgruntled former employee," a "turncoat" who is "out to make a quick buck." Tell me Scottie: when you first sat down to write this book, did you have any idea of the treacherous terrain to which you were beaming yourself? Did you really, truly think that you could teleport yourself on to a new career?
Don't be too surprised if FOX News doesn't come calling, hefty contract in hand. For in order to profit from sin, you have to be Ollie North or G. Gordon Liddy.
In closing Scottie, it may well be that you haven't yet reached the "final frontier." But one can hope that ultimately, in beaming yourself up, you have set the stage for the Bushies to be beamed down -- as far down as history and the courts will allow.
©2008 Kurt F. Stone