My complete despair when it comes to American politics continues to deepen. The widely publicised news of the day is that Bush has 'spared' Libby from 2.5 years in jail. His reason? It seems that he thought it was an 'excessive' punishment, so obviously 'no jail at all' is the correct amount for lying to a grand jury and exposing a CIA agent, potentially threatening their life, because their husband had criticised the invasion of Iraq.
At a fundamental level the leader of any democratic country should not have the power to overrule the courts anyway. What sort of example is this to countries we accuse of corruption? The message is that you can do anything you like as long as you are chums with those in power. Hardly inspiring. However, just because previous presidents have done it isn't an excuse for its continuation! It's fairly telling that the Republican defence of pretty much anything stupid, immoral or just plain illegal that Bush and his cronies do is that 'Clinton lied about having an affair!'. Yes he did, and of course he shouldn't have done it. He was also no saint in many other areas of course, but let's face it, Bush has done more to make the world a worse, more dangerous, divisive, polluted, greedy and generally bad place than almost anyone else in the last decade... apart from Cheney, perhaps.
Closer to home we are right to worry about the BAe bribery scandal, and the corruption and very dubious morals in the Labour government that stopped the investigation into it. However, it's pretty galling to hear that the US DoJ want to investigate that deal while their president is letting his friends out of prison for serious crimes. The Murdoch press wonder why there is what they consider to be anti-Americanism in this country. The answer is obvious - how can you have any respect for the American government with the current idiots in charge? They even make our lot look good. Like it or not, other countries judge you by the actions of your government, and if they carry on the way they're going then driving Jeeps into Glasgow airport will be the least of our worries.