(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
This commentary is original to All Over the Board:
I can remember one of the more interesting points about ‘Les Miserables,’ as it is seared into my mind. One of my friends, half-jokingly, said “All of that because of a loaf of bread.” Ultimately, that is the mindset of some people. For some, redemption is not possible. Javert, although a literary character, is of that mind.
For us in the US, we’re faced with a similar problem. What many of us consider a criminal enterprise in coming to the end of it’s stay in the corridors of power in Washington, DC. We’ve seen similar enterprises get off the hook in both Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair. In both cases, the majority of the players managed to slither away from their actions only to rise again in later administrations. What we see today is that by allowing those transgressions to (for the most part) stay out of the court system we allow for those players to come back with reputations in full as opposed to in tatters.
Which brings us to Javert.
There is something to be said for his steadfast pursuit of Jean Valjean. On the other hand, he never saw the injustice of the 19 years Valjean was a slave of the law. His steadfastness was based on a black and white world view (and we’re just finishing eight years of such a view). Consider this for a moment.
We find ourselves in a position of having to clean up after a criminal enterprise being run out of the White House and the Vice-President’s office. Should the blanket pardon of the administration come down (I think it will), there will only be one who can stand in the dock. Will the Obama administration be willing to go after a former President for crimes he may have committed during his administration? Are the Democrats willing to see themselves tarnished by their capitulation over and over to W’s actions? Will we, for once, see a President put on trial for his actions?
Which brings us back to the question: In the pursuit of justice against the Bush administration, will we need a Javert to be head investigator/prosecutor? Will we have to adopt the same mind set which led to what I believe are criminal actions? To achieve justice, will we have to adopt the same means as those who conducted those crimes?
This certainly will be one of the more interesting moves by the Obama administration, whatever they decide to do.