Monday, March 10, 2008



I was getting calls from people I barely know and from people I know well all asking the same question-- where's your Eliot Spitzer story? I don't have one. They pointed out I covered Republican sex offenders Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Mitch MConnell, David Vitter, et al so why not a Democrat who goes to see hookers? I guess that's because I don't think there's anything so horrible about someone hiring a hooker (as long as he or she is of age). Well, what about Vitter and Craig, both of whom were hiring prostitutes? Like I mentioned earlier, Larry Craig and David Vitter have based their political careers on screaming about Family Values and on dehumanizing others with the same (human) problems they had. Eliot Spitzer based his political career on fighting crime. Ah, ha!-- isn't that hypocrisy there: fighting crime while indulging in it? Well, yes, a bit. A bit? Eliot Spitzer didn't prosecute victimless crimes. He didn't go after people who hire escorts (although he did go after people who operate escort services).

Spitzer's problem should be a family matter. It isn't. It has been blown out of all proportion-- to the delight of his enemies on Wall Street. I'm not going to defend him. He broke a law, a stupid one, but a law nonetheless that I haven't seen him campaigning to abolish. And this case is not devoid of a degree of hypocrisy, even if it doesn't rise to a level of David Vitter's or Larry Craig's or David Dreier's.

And while almost everyone I know, particularly Roland and Harry and Craig, were harassing me all day about Spitzer, almost no one (other than the always astute and savvy Danny Fields) said a world about this being the most deadly day in six months in Baghdad-- not for the dozens of faceless Iraqis (faceless to us, anyway) who get blown up every week-- but for the U.S. military. A suicide bomber blew himself and a routine U.S. patrol up-- in one of those safe walkin' around districts that John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Mike Pence say are as safe as any street or country fair in America. Five soldiers died immediately. Three more are in the hospital and half a dozen Iraqis were also killed in the blast.
A senior U.S. military official said there had been a recent spike in attacks by people using suicide vests. The tactic is often associated with insurgent fighters who come from outside Iraq to fight, but this appears to be changing.

"Usually if you wear a suicide vest you're a foreigner," the official said. "More and more Iraqis are wearing them."

...About three hours after the Baghdad explosion, a car bomb blew up outside the largest hotel in Sulaymaniyah, a relatively peaceful Kurdish city in northern Iraq. The blast at the Sulaymaniyah Palace Hotel killed one person, wounded 29 and shattered windows, according to police and hospital officials.

Two other suicide bombings occurred Monday in Diyala province, north of Baghdad.

A woman detonated the explosives she was carrying inside the house of Thair Ghadhban al-Karkhi, the leader of one of the U.S.-backed armed groups that have turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq. The bombing in the Kanaan region, east of the provincial capital of Baqubah, killed Karkhi and his 5-year-old niece, and injured three others, one of them critically, said Ali Hussein al-Karkhi, a cousin and aide to the slain leader.

Another suicide bombing took place near an Iraqi police patrol in the town of Muqdadiyah, killing two people and injuring 20, according to 1st Lt. Alaa al-Dulaimy, spokesman for the Diyala police.

Watch John McCain just two weeks short of a year ago:

How about a less partisan analysis of the impact of the "surge?" An honest assessment of the situation in Iraq is far more mixed than what we hear from Bush-Cheney-McCain. Here's the real story, not McBush's domestic propaganda surge:

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At 12:40 AM, Blogger woid said...

Dear Mr. Tyranny,

Yes, the deaths and misery in Iraq are infinitely more important than Governor Spitzer and his Rent-a-Shikse. But it's still worth looking at the story.

There are lots of questions to be asked about the Spitzer mishegoss (other than "what did he GET for $4000?). Of course the usual suspects are chomping on the red meat parts of the story, while ignoring WHY it's happening.

Jane Hamsher had a good roundup of loose ends at FDL today. Here's my own list:

Why was there a federal investigation going on to begin with? Early reports said the prostitution ring was being investigated, and that Spitzer got caught in a wiretap. Then the story changed. It was supposedly touched off by suspicious wire transfers made by Spitzer.

So the next question is, why were the feds looking at Spitzer's transactions? Is this normal? And why isn't this mentioned in the documents released today (and online at thesmokinggun)? The many, many tapped calls with "Client 9" are all about whether an envelope full of cash arrived in time, because this client always deals in cash.

Next, Client 9 is Elliott Spitzer. Why exactly do we know this? Was it leaked? If so, whodunit?

Maybe there are reasonable answers to all the questions (and all the others), but there's also reasonable grounds for suspicion. Suspect the Bush administration? How could we?

Spitzer is the THIRD Democratic governor to be brought down in the past few years. First was the bullshit recall of Gray Davis in California, to make way for Ahnolt. Next was the corrupt prosecution and jailing in shackles of Don Siegelman in Alabama. Now this. The Bush DOJ, doing Rove's work.

And yet, Spitzer is a fucking idiot. Fucking, yes, but what an idiot. Because he's a Democrat, the media will be all over this for months, tying it in with the "disarray we're supposedly in. And pimping this story will of course be in place of investigating the real scandals and disasters that are ongoing.

So yes, it's an important story, for a lot of reasons. (Another reason is bringing up the discussion of whether whoring, and other victimless acts, should be crimes at all.)

Unfortunately, Spitzer's crime isn't that easy to forgive, because he's a big a hypocrite as Craig, Vitter, and the many more. You say "Spitzer didn't prosecute victimless crimes," and that's not true. This is from the NYT story on the web:

When he was attorney general, Mr. Spitzer’s signature issue was pursuing Wall Street misdeeds. But he also oversaw the prosecution of at least two prostitution rings by the state’s organized crime task force, which reports to the attorney general.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. “It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”

Nice going,shithead.

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, agreed, and agreed.


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