about sewage...

Yesterday, a friend of mine from my salad days in grad school pledged – so LI is up to two pledges, now, approximately 100 bucks! This friend, he witnessed my self damaging narcissistic flameout from the corridors of the good, the true and the beautiful. As any Freudian will tell you, masochistic narcissists are the worst: St. Sebastians demanding a mirror. Anyway, D., I want to thank you. I’ll email you with a few questions about the t shirt later today.

I have been thinking of other enticing goodies besides t shirts, by the way. I think that LI will collect some of the series posts – the posts about the invasion of Iraq, the posts about James Fitzjames Stevens, the posts about Libya, etc. – and create a little series archive, where they would be accessible, and put in order.

Enough of that.

As we all know, Judy Miller, a St. Sebastian with a mirror if there ever was one, is all about press freedom. Is all about leaking in the name of press freedom. Is all about stripping dissenters of any shred of dignity they have left, and destroying their families. She is a first amendment goddess.

But for those who think Scooter Libby makes an odd whistleblower, go this maddening, maddening article in the WPost today. In it, you will find the saga of a remarkable woman, Bunnatine Hayes Greenhouse . Greenhouse is not the kind of person that the NYT would touch, in terms of top secret info and access, access, accexx. That’s because she is concerned about a powerful, connected company doing a crappy job and overcharging for it like a serial check forger. The name of the company is Haliburton, of course. The cause is Cheney’s company’s contracts in Iraq, which Greenhouse thought were absurd. Already one can see the Millers at the NYT making the characteristic moue. Those Haliburtan fixators, coming from the conspiracy swamp. Can't deal with those people. In fact, best not to report on them at all. Which is the new policy at Bill Keller's NYT, with the motto, you want the news, go to the fucking Washington Post.

Greenhouse works for the Corps of Engineers. She is also black – something that the Corps of Engineers good old boys don’t like. During good King Clinton’s time, the visceral dislike of black skin didn’t get encouraged at the Corps of Engineers. But when Bush was elected, the dike went down here – as it has done in other places since. Taking potshots on a black executive was just the tonic for those D.C. boys. And the thrill of the thing –oh, so wonderfully reminiscent of the lynching that used to enliven our beautiful South – is that she could be reprimanded for not getting along with her subordinates. Yes, good old boys who called her nigger would then complain about her unfair treatment of them. And since the Corps knows all about sewage treatment, they treated Greenhouse to the endproduct of that sewage.

Finally, however, Greenhouse went to far. She told a Senate committee made up only of Democrats – Republicans being, apparently, uninterested in billions of dollars being fraudulently charged to the U.S. – about the insanity of the contracts being awarded to Cheney’s company. For this act of patriotism, it was don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.