Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dear Mr. President:

So, it looks like that rascal Karl has been at it again. Remember back in '70 when he stole that letterhead from then-Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon, printed up fake campaign rally fliers promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters? What a hoot. Then there was that time in '86 when he bugged his own phone right before a big gubernatorial debate and accused the Democrats of doing it. As a fellow Norwegian-American, I sure can appreciate Karl's sense of humor. Ha ha.

But you know, it does sometimes seem like Karl goes a bit too far. Like the Intel stock deal and the drug company lobbyists and the energy policy meetings. (But then, ol' Ticker Dick didn't come out squeaky clean on that last bit either, did he?) And then this recent bit about us darned liberals in our foreign cars wanting to offer our 9/11 attackers therapy and understanding, while you scrappy and virile Republicans were oiling up your blunderbusses. (Did that sound dirty? Sorry about that, Sir. Please don't show this letter to Laura.)

Point is, it seems to this Midwestern lad that maybe there are times when Karl ought to keep his mouth shut if he wants to stay out of trouble. Like, for instance, when he got so darned mad at Joe Wilson that he decided to expose his wife's status as a CIA agent. Now Sir, I understand that if Wilson had just shut up and eaten his yellowcake like that Judith Miller, we wouldn't have had this problem. But this thing Karl appears to have done, it just doesn't sit right. Mr. Wilson's wife was serving her country as an agent of our intelligence services, the same services that you've said you're so concerned about strengthening. When she was exposed, her life and her work were both put in jeopardy.

Now they're saying Karl is the one who leaked her identity, and I don't mind telling you it bothers me. Sir, I don't know what you used to call that in Texas, but in Washington that's treason. Your position on this matter from the beginning has been that any allegation of Karl's involvement is "totally ridiculous" and "simply not true," but today you're saying you can't comment on an ongoing investigation. That seems a bit like shutting the barn door after the horse has got out. I'm guessing that means you know Karl is caught.

Now I'm sure you'd like to quickly get past this mess so we can all get a close look at that Downing Street Memo, so I'd like to offer a bit of advice. Looking back, it looks to me like Karl's been on this track for a long time. Could be he's in some pain; it's not my business, but I understand that he's had a rough time of it, family-wise. I think perhaps he feels like a part of your family, and as a brother of sorts, I think you ought to answer his call for help. It's important, finally, to hold the people we love accountable for their actions. You can keep shielding him, you can pardon him if you like, but how is any of that really going to help Karl? He can only deal with his pain if he's forced to see where it's taken him.

But heck, isn't this the sort of woolly-headed liberal therapy talk that Karl despises? I suppose, if he had his way, a person committing treason would pay for it. That doesn't mean death, of course; the minimum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of not less than $10,000, and I don't suppose you'd let him do much more than the minimum. There is the fact that anyone convicted of treason becomes incapable of holding office in the United States, but you know better than anyone that you don't need to be in office to have power, and just because you're in office doesn't mean you have power. You do know that, right? Anyway, I'm sure that if Karl does go to prison it won't be anything like that Oz place they show on the TV. Probably it'd be more like that place Martha Stewart went to. He could write a book and perfect his bridge game. Could be he'd learn a little restraint from the experience, but, whoops--there I go thinking like a liberal again. Sometimes I forget that prisons are for punishing, not rehabilitating.

Anyhow, I just wanted to write to let you know that I'm concerned about Karl, as I'm sure you are. Best to you and the family, and have fun with the fourth estate.


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