We're a nation of second chances. That means even if you admitted to participating in an attempt to cover up a crime, you can still wind up in a cushy government job.
WASHINGTON — In 1987, Robert L. Earl told a grand jury that he had destroyed and stolen national security documents while working for Lt. Col. Oliver L. North during the Iran-Contra scandal.
Now, he sits in one of the most coveted offices in the Pentagon as chief of staff to Gordon R. England, acting deputy secretary of Defense. Earl has clearance to review the kinds of classified documents he once destroyed.
Of course, it helps to be on the Rightwing.
Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress about the illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras during the Reagan administration, serves on Bush's National Security Council as head of the Mideast bureau.
Retired Adm. John M. Poindexter, who as national security advisor under Reagan also was implicated in the scandal, has periodically served as a consultant to the Pentagon.
Of course, as always, there are those quick to point out that the Clinton Administration had its share of problem appointees.
Common Cause spokeswoman Mary Boyle noted that some of President Clinton's nominees got into trouble for hiring illegal immigrants for domestic work.
Yeah. Hiring an illegal immigrant is certainly on a par with aiding and abetting a White House cover-up of illegal weapons sales to terrorists.
Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee were unaware of Earl's tie to the Iran-Contra scandal, congressional aides said.
Just exactly how stupid are these people, anyhow?
On Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon, the few who were aware of Earl's past expressed little concern about his fitness for his current job.
"This was nearly two decades ago," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "And he has served ably for many years in the department and in industry."
Ohhhh, I see. The industry. He was "rehabilitated" by the defense industry.
Well, that makes it all okay, doesn't it?
I'm sure it's not the same "defense industry" that was working with the warmongers he committed the crime to protect.