Patrick Fitzgerald, A Pious Man?”

" Fitzgerald is an Irish doorman’s son who attended a Jesuit high school, then Amherst College — where he was a Phi Beta Kappa mathematics and economics major — and Harvard.

He registered to vote in New York as an independent. When he discovered that Independent was a political party, he re-registered with no affiliation. Illinois citizens know him for pursuing Republicans and Democrats with equal fervor. Former governor George Ryan (R) is on trial on corruption charges, and a growing number of aides to Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) face influence-peddling charges."  Washpost

A witness in the case said of Fitzgerald – "As White House staffers, had generals and Cabinet secretaries being deferential to you. He didn’t care what you’d done or how well you knew the president."  Wasshpost

This man is a politician’s worst nightmare.  He doesn’t "care what you’d done or how well you knew the president.""  He reminds me of the portrait of Robert Kennedy in Richard Mahoney’s book, "Sons and Brothers." Relentless, dogged, thorough, a workaholic who goes home to Chicago on the weekends.  He has priorities and they are not all about his career.  Men like this are not driven by self interest so much as they are by an internal demand for justice and virtue in the world.

He is unimpressed by the argument that "we have always done it that way."  Graft, character assasination as political "business as usual," influence peddling?  Men like this are outraged by such things.

Nora O’Donnell of NBC news said last week that she had been told by someone interrogated by Fitzgerald that he could best be described as "pious."  That strikes me as apt.

Piety can be religious or it can be civic as the Romans would have understood this virtue, as Marcus Aurelius would have understood it.  In either case, Fitzgerald’s piety is "bad news" for a number of people.

He will do what he is going to do, and partisan hand-wringing will not affect him. 

Get ready.

Pat Lang

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9 Responses to Patrick Fitzgerald, A Pious Man?”

  1. Some Guy says:

    Oh I am ready. Trying not to get my hopes up, but we need to have powerful officials held accountable. Otherwise, the open society thing is pretty much pretense. It will be dangerous to have a completely disarticulated WH, but this WH has been incredibly dangerous all along without accountability. Hard to imagine it could be worse, but we will find out. At least we will (hopefully) get some justice for abuses of power.

  2. Geoff says:

    Any predictions Mr. Lang?

  3. Curious says:

    The latest words:
    Fitz is expanding his investigation to who forges the niger documents. We are beyond ‘who outted Plame’ now it seems.
    So maybe finally we will see the truth.

  4. ismoot says:

    Some Guy
    A clutch of indictments and at least one interestng name among the un-indicted. pl

  5. Michael Murry says:

    I’ve always preferred the word “rectitude” in preference to “piety,” at least in the sense of Marcus Aurelius and the Roman ideal of civic statesmanship.
    In the Asian sense of accepting responsibility for humiliating failure, though, I’d really prefer to see the major principals of our nation’s current, awful debacle come out in front of the White House, sit cross-legged on the ground and ceremoniously slit their own bellies open, Samurai style.
    No rubber swords this time, either. It really pisses me off to see some “brave” bureaucrat “fall on his sword” only to show up the next day bright and early for work and a presidential appointment for the Medal of Freedom.

  6. J i O says:

    Wonder where Fitz keeps his piety while he’s hacking and hooking in a scrummage?
    A no-nonsense federal prosecutor who also plays rugby! Awwright!
    Thanks for the personal confirmation on the forged Niger docs. Sy Hersh suggested a long time ago that former CIA types did the forging and suggested the sloppy job was intentional, as the documents were a sting designed to be Cheney bait, and Cheney bit.
    Or, were the forgers part of the go-to-war plot who were just inadvertently really sloppy?
    Your thoughts, Pat, please.

  7. BadTux says:

    I have looked at some of the wingnutter sites and they have already received their marching orders from the White House. Their job: to smear Fitzgerald as a “rogue prosecutor” who is engaged in a “partisan witchhunt”.
    Remember, truth does not matter to these people. They are firm adherents to Goering’s “big lie” principle, i.e., that one should lie baldly and unashamedly because people will then say, “nobody could lie so baldly and unashamedly, so they must be telling the truth!” Furthermore, they believe in power, and the unabashed use of power.
    So the plan of action, as I see it, is part 1 is to discredit Fitzgerald by using the Big Lie tactic that has been so successful for them elsewhere. Part 2, of course, is that once they succeed in trashing Fitzgerald, they then dismiss Fitzgerald and replace him with a compliant substitute who will pursue charges only reluctantly and over a period of at least two years, followed by long drawn-out appeals, so that nobody is forced to go to jail before President Bush can pardon them on the last day of his Presidency.
    Will they succeed? We shall see. We shall see.

  8. Qwerty says:

    Mmmm…an independant with true integrity. Anyone with me for Fitzgerald for President 2008??? I’m so sick of the craven Dems and the good soldiers McCain and Powell, who cared more about their political careers than the American people.

  9. spoon or no spoon says:

    Good luck and God speed, prosecutor.

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