Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Deep Throat, Morality, and Loyalty

Deep Throat has been revealed as former FBI official, W. Mark Felt. He was promptly called a traitor by the right. A traitor to whom? Certainly not the American people. A traitor to a gang of criminals who had hijacked this country? Sure. But to you and me? No. He was an American who helped expose corruption and abuse of power at the highest level of our government.

These conservatives have been working overtime trying to demonize Felt. They have used two approaches. First, they are characterizing his actions as immoral. That he had acted treacherously and dishonorably. That he had betrayed those two whom he owed his loyalty, that his actions were shameful. Second, they are also attacking his motivation; that he was just sore about being passed up for a high-level position. The implication, of course, is that he did not act out of any sense of higher loyalty to the public. Both of these, of course, ignore the facts of Nixon’s dirty doings. A lot of bad people quite rightly went to prison for the crimes that they committed.

The morality of Pat Buchanan and the other right wing attack dogs is a Mafia morality. It is also that of an abusive, addicted family. In the Mafia morality, the worst thing you can do is expose the organization. In the abusive family morality, the worst thing that you can do is declare that there is a problem, to say “Dad drinks too much and hits my mom!” or “Dad makes me suck his dick!” The child is called a liar by her own mother, or called a little slut and is ostracized for daring to bring the problem out into the open. The blame gets placed at the feet of the one who would dare expose the crime, not the criminal.

This is the same twisted morality that compelled the Catholic Church to cover up child molesting priests for decades. The exposure of the crimes would cause the Church embarrassment and standing, not to mention possible criminal and financial penalties. So, they quietly paid out hush money to the parents of the victims, they transferred priests around from parish to parish, knowingly supplying them with more victims. And those who refused to acknowledge wrongdoing by the church were rewarded. Cardinal Bernard Law has a job at the Vatican now. The current pope was the author of a directive in covering up church records about known pedophile priests.

They are so warped by their criminal allegiance that they actually discouraged people from suing the Church because it would force them to cut back on programs for the poor. So, they blamed the victims for pursuing justice, and completely missed the point, which is that they facilitated and covered up for the raping of children.

In this code of ethics, loyalty to the organization is considered more important than stopping the crimes being committed. This kind of loyalty only permits the criminals to continue committing crimes. Not exactly what we, as the citizens of this country want in our FBI officials, is it? Luckily, with Felt, we had a good guy.

One’s true loyalty must be to the greater good of the general public, not to a criminal organization, be it the Republican party, the Catholic Church. Or, in the case of abuse, one must not be loyal to the abuser and allow the abuse to continue.

Whatever his motivations, Felt did a great service to this country by getting information to Woodward and Bernstein. He betrayed a gang of criminals, which is simply loyalty to the American people. Criminality and corruption thrive in darkness. They can only be gotten rid of by exposure to sunlight.

In the 1970’s the press was willing to perform this task. In fact, this is the reason for a free press in this country: to ferret out and expose corruption in government and powerful business interests. To protect the public from those who would abuse their power. The free press is supposed to serve as the eyes and ears (and nose) of the public.

Felt knew that if he had proceeded with just a special investigation that the whole matter would disappear. That’s why he went to the press. Only the press could get the attention of the American people properly focused on the criminals running their government. Don’t let anybody tell you that he didn’t do the right thing.

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