Sunday, July 08, 2007

Million Dollars Bail

For George W. Bush and Scooter Libby ...

She dialed 911 but the cops didn't come on time
They found her on the marble with a bullet through her eye
He was weavin' back and forth, foamin' at the lips
So they took him in for questioning and inked his fingertips

There's two kinds of justice everybody knows
One for folks up on the hill, the other's down below
Everyone is talkin' 'bout the night he spent in jail
Today he's free out walkin' on a million dollars bail

They said she was a single girl who lived a double life
He met her at the hatcheck stand and took her home that night
And no one knows what happened; no one else was there
No trial date was ever set; no one seems to care

There's two kinds of justice everybody knows
One for folks up on the hill, the other's down below
Everyone is talkin' 'bout the night he spent in jail
Today he's free out walkin' on a million dollars bail

They tell us all the world is small, and life is sellin' cheap
Anything can happen when you're walkin' in your sleep
The court took charge and eyed the facts; they were set at one cool mill
Calls were made and debts were paid, the lawyers worked with skill

Eternity is longer than one night inside a box
And if you're heading for the jailhouse, now's the time to pick the locks
But there's a sentence passed on every soul; someday we all must die
When the question's not who pulled the switch but how you lived and why

There's two kinds of justice everybody knows
One for folks up on the hill, the other's down below
Everyone is talkin' 'bout the night he spent in jail
Today he's free out walkin' on a million dollars bail
-- Peter Case, "Million Dollars Bail"

2 comments:

cnb said...

I'm a Canadian, and don't have a dog in this fight, but a couple of things come to mind. I remember that when the original sentence was handed down, most commentators I heard (including our left-leaning public broadcaster) expressed surprise at its severity. It also seems pertinent that Libby's case involved matters of constitutional law, which is usually not the case for those "down below", pace The Hold Steady.

Mind you, I don't really understand the case. In fact, after reading Christopher Hitchens' column, I don't even know what crime Libby has committed.

e said...

CNB, that is a very reasonable comment; thank you for making it.

But I respectfully disagree that the column of the Hitch is the best place to look for a definitive rebuttal of the Libby verdict or the sentencing. See, for instance, just the comments on that Slate article for more details of just what is wrong with Hitch's opinion.

I think what Andy is responding to is the deeply felt intuition that, while Lady Justice's eyes are blinded, some scoundrels take advantage of the perception of blindness to sneak lead bricks onto their end of the scales.

The larger issue for which Libby stands is whether the current administration, knowing its case for war on Iraq was flawed at best, took it upon themselves to intimidate and even endanger any who would seek to challenge their assertions. That those in power could twist the system of justice itself—the holy Constitutional system of checks and balances—to ensure the outcome they desired no matter the cost in dollars and human lives seems scandalous to many Americans.... Perhaps only because we're not yet cynical enough to believe this kind of thing is happening all the time anyway; or because we're too lazy to have our government truly be "for the people."