The sources denied the case was timed to deflect attention from the fallout over lewd computer messages sent by a former Republican congressman to young male aides, a scandal that may help Democrats seize control of Congress in November 7 election.
Mark Steyn kicks off his column today with Vicini’s story and improvises on the theme:
Cut out that paragraph and have it framed. Or now that the nights are drawing in, if you’re at a loose end of an evening, sew it into an attractive sampler and hang it in your parlor. In years to come, you’ll spend many precious moments treasuring it as the perfect summation of the 2006 U.S. election.
“Justice Department officials denied . . . ” What Reuters means by those words is that a reporter — possibly the great Vicini himself or his colleague (“Additional reporting by Rick Cowan”) — gets the press release about this once-in-a-half-century treason thing and says to the relevant feds, “C’mon, you guys are just nailing this dude in Pakistan to distract from Mark Foley, right?”
And the Justice Department fellow no doubt replies, “Mark who?”
And Cowan (or Vicini) goes, “The ex-congressman. Teenage pages. Horny gay Republican predators. Hastert’s notorious pedophile ring. You must have read about it. It’s been in all the papers.” And the Justice guy says, “Sorry, I’ve been been working the fax machine to Pakistan all week, typing up the relevant indictments in triplicate, and so forth.”
Originally, only the Republican Congress was covering for Foley. But, as Vicini and Cowan see it, the conspiracy now extends to the Justice Department. We should be grateful Reuters imputed merely the “timing” of the treason indictment to the “lewd computer message” scandal, not the indictment itself. After all, why would the Bush administration have earmarked some nobody in Pakistan for a cockamamie charge of “treason” if it weren’t for just such an eventuality as this? Also, notice the way the most damaging “lewd computer messages” and the toppling of Saddam Hussein both occurred in 2003: Did the neocons stage the entire Iraq war in order to set Foley up with an endless supply of fetching young Arab houseboys? As Al Jolson liked to sing, climb upon my knee, Sunni boy.
Steyn mentions that his new book — America Alone — was just released:
In my new book (out this week, folks: you’ll find it at the back of the store past the 9/11 Conspiracy section and the Christianist Theocrat Takeover of America section and the ceiling-high display of the new Dixie Chicks six-CD box set of songs about how they’re being silenced), I say that some of us looked at Sept. 11 as the sudden revelation of the tip of a vast iceberg, and I try to address the seven-eighths of that iceberg below the surface — the globalization of radical Islam, the free-lancing of nuclear technology, the demographic weakness of Western democracies. Other folks, however, see the iceberg upside down. The huge weight of history — the big geopolitical forces coursing through society — the vast burden all balancing on the pinhead of the week: in this instance, Mark Foley.
Also in the back of the store with America Alone is Robert Spencer’s The Truth About Muhammad. In his excellent Washington Times review of Spencer’s new book, Andrew Bostom recalls the late, great Richard Grenier and his classic The Marrakesh One-Two:
Nearly 25 years ago, the late Richard Grenier wrote “The Marrakesh One-Two,” a trenchant fictional account of a doomed effort to film the life of Muhammad. Grenier characterized the filmmaker’s basic predicament with biting wit.
Even after reading a series of modern Muslim hagiographies, Muhammad left the impression of being “…a gamey figure for a religious leader…sort of a blend of Saint Teresa of Avila, Jane Addams of Hull House, William the Conqueror, and Casanova…Allah is merciful, but not necessarily Muhammad, I guess.”
Of course such an impious, if accurate presentation, was impossible. Following a conference with the clerics of Al Azhar (the leading Sunni Islamic institution of religious education) in Cairo, Grenier’s fictional filmmaker laments: “The only thing they would give me was I could have P.V. Muhammad. That is I could script shots from Muhammad’s Point of View, subjective camera. I could have faces reacting and people talking to Mohammed. But Muhammad couldn’t answer them because his voice would be too holy.”
Today, “P.V. Muhammad” putatively “non-fiction” accounts prevail, while the authoritative biographies of Muhammad written in the mid 19th through early 20th centuries — by scholars such as William Muir, David S. Margoliouth and Leone Caetani — are now almost unknown to the public and chattering classes.
Finally, coincidental with Steyn’s column comes Jules Crittenden’s tribute to October’s “tour de force in the political theater of the absurd.” In his column today Mark Steyn aptly dubs October’s theater of the absurd “La Cage Aux Foley.”