Once upon a time, there was a guy named Vince Foster. Vince Foster was a childhood friend of Bill Clinton, and when Bill Clinton became President Clinton, Vince Foster became part of Clinton’s team of advisors.
Vince Foster and his friends Bill and Hillary were attacked, constantly, by the Washington media elite, which then as now took its cues from the Republican opinion tastemakers who’d been in charge since the Reagan era. The attacks hit Foster particularly hard, and he wound up killing himself over them — and leaving a note attacking his media tormentors, particularly those who made up the Wall Street Journal’s rabidly conservative editorial staff, who, as he said, “lie without consequence“.
Did this cause his right-wing attackers to suffer any pangs of conscience? Of course not. They simply started accusing the Clintons — his best friends — of having him murdered. Never apologize, never explain.
Fast-forward to 2001. Jenna and Barbara Bush, the young daughters of the White House’s newest occupant, were busted for underage drinking at Chuy’s in Austin. The response of the “now the grownups are in charge” conservatives was to try to destroy the people who busted them. Never apologize, never explain.
Six years later — an attack, a war of imperial choice that turned out disastrously, and the beginnings of a popular revolt against the conservative Imperium. The Cons are twitchy; many of the saner ones have left the movement, and the remaining ones, without anyone to rein them in, become a bit more unhinged as the evidence keeps mounting that they simply cannot will objective reality to go away. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t stop trying. Their target: An Iraqi police captain named Jamil Hussein, who dared say some things they didn’t like. They tried to claim he didn’t really exist, and forced him to go public — and immediately become a target for Iraqi insurgents. Did the righties attacking ever say they were sorry for ruining his life? Of course not: Never apologize, never explain.
This summer’s Jamil Hussein is Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, who incurred the wrath of the righties by daring, as Jamil Hussein did, to say things that the righties didn’t like. Beauchamp did so under the alias “Scott Thomas” in an article for The New Republic. As with Jamil Hussein, the righties at first claimed he didn’t exist, and even got the Washington Post to uncritically spread and legitimize their claims (with, as it turned out, bogus backing from a porn actor and prostitute named Matt Sanchez, who was also in the Marines’ Individual Ready Reserve and who is currently facing fraud charges); when it was shown that he did, they set out to destroy him.
Never apologize, never explain.