On Friday morning, in the Superior Court of Manhattan, John Fund will face the consequences for his own actions. John Fund lied, slandered, libeled, and used his power in concerted attempts to destroy those who refused to be silenced. He is practiced in the skills of deception having studied under a master of that political art form, Karl Rove.
Our trust in justice does not die all at once, it seeps out through hundreds and thousands of small wounds over a long time.
The process of Justice in America has not been swift; it has been four long years. It is not certain; Robert Morganthau refused to prosecute the criminal case without explanation.
But in this case the victim has finally managed to have her day in
John Fund is being sued for battery, theft, and other causes; not the kind of action one generally thinks of politically relevant.
The victim of his violence and lies is Morgan Pillsbury Gell. Morgan, now married, is near term with her second child.
Traveling to New York for the trial was not easy for her – but she was determined. Mrs. Gell went on with her life through a battery of slanders and libels extruded by John Fund and his friends. This moment of hope may be short-lived. No one in the media much cares; no one seems to see how this case highlights the problems we confront with the whole of politics in America today.
She is just another battered woman. This is not important. Or is it?
Civilized people need to know there will be justice for all.
Justice is something we often misunderstand. It is not about vengeance, it is about restoring balance, about affirming the sense that we can trust the world to be reasonable, if not always kind.
Jesus said that none of us are asked to carry burdens that are too heavy for us to bear; a system of justice should ensure that we carry only the burdens we have created and not the burdens imposed by others by deceit, coercion, and violence. Four years is a long time to wait.
Justice is important to us as individuals and to America as the nation of which each of us is a part. It is something for which we hunger today because it has never been harder to come by.
On Tuesday, John Fund refused to participate in arbitration; a few minutes later he, the attorneys, his victim, and the judge were seated in a courtroom and potential jurors were filling out the forms that will help determine if they will be empaneled to hear the case. Wednesday empaneling was finished; the trial started.
John did not think he should have to be bothered with a trial. After all, he is routinely briefed by the White House. Important people cannot be held accountable -- at least that is what Fund believes, and he has his reasons for holding such a belief. This is what our present administration has taught him by their own behavior.
For Important People there is no accountability.John thinks he cannot be held accountable for his lies because he an essential cog in the slick machine of the Bush Administration and the Neoconservative movement. He is, after all, briefed by the White House.
Important people are different; we should all see that. Important people hold a little card that says, “FREE LIE,” to be used at will as often as necessary. They are printed on a special press by Karl Rove and handed out to all the Important People.
Fund has seen George W. Bush evade responsibility for far larger lies with bluster. He has seen Karl Rove evade facing justice for an arguable act of treason with a smirk and a gloat. So John has reason for his beliefs. Our political system affirms his right to lie as necessary so that he can continue to work as a political operative for this administration.
“Important people, ” what we used to think of as “public servants,” view themselves differently today. Not for them a simple transparent honesty, not on the national level and not on the local level in New York, the same state that has ignored the violence done by State Senator Ada L. Smith. Smith has thus far evaded justice on the charges she has battered a growing number of her office staff over the last several years, the last one just a few weeks ago. This Administration may have fine-tuned lying and evasion to a science but they are not the ones who wrote the book.
The deceptive practices are the same in every case. Lie, use larger lies, stifle the truth through threats, financial pressure; Destroy reputations, kill trust. As long as you win it does not matter. The core players wrote the rule book and all are briefed by someone.
John has been briefed since before George W. Bush was 'elected' president in 2000. He was being briefed when he put out the rumor that John McCain had a black love child, the rumor that killed the McCain candidacy in South Carolina. When John McCain burst into the Wall Street Journal to exact some retribution, John hid under his desk. Fund does not like physical encounters with people who are larger or stronger than himself. Morgan is just over five feet tall. John is around six feet three.
Fund's whole ego and being is tied up in being an Important Person, briefed by the White House. He worked hard to get where he is today.
John's first article sold for $3,000.00 to the Reader's Digest around 1982. He used the anguished confession he received from a woman who was working at the Reagan White House to buy his ticket to the East Coast. She thought he was her friend. In Washington D. C. he began working for Rowland Evans and Robert Novak; today Novak remains his friend and mentor. That article destroyed the woman's career; Fund said that what she had told him was just the truth; he had done nothing for which he needed to apologize.
For a long time John's favorite saying was, “The truth will set you free.” Fund does not say that anymore. That FREE LIE card changes your outlook.
In the beginning John had other ways of evading accountability. Then he just broke down in tears and cried, eliciting sympathy. This was his reaction when Eric Garris confronted him on the lie he had run successfully for school board in Sacramento. In fact, he had never been a candidate and had reported someone else's race as his own. Found out, he cried and begged Garris to conceal the truth. Garris did that until just a few months ago, an act he now regrets.
John went on to a rich career at the Wall Street Journal and, after the sordid details of his affair with Morgan became public, OpinionJournal.com. He never gave Eric Garris another thought and certainly never helped him. Fund was going to be Important.
Being a political operative means that lying, planting false information, and such are just part of your routine work. That is work that came very naturally to John Fund.
Americans have seen the same deceptive practices used in the Valerie Plame case, with the claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, the claim that took us into a war that has killed over 2,500 Americans, uncounted Iraqis, and is costing trillions of dollars that flow night and day into the corporate coffers of Halliburton through no bid, cost plus contracts. Nice work if you can get it.
The same deceptive practices that dragged us into war were used in a case of domestic violence in New York City to bail out a man whose start up the ladder of 'success' came at the cost of another person's career. That and the tears have really paid off for John. He still cries as necessary.
Don't expect to see much about the Fund – Pillsbury Trial in the mainstream media. Notice who pays those media salaries. America's media has slowly over the last decade been acquired by the same corporate interests who funded the Bush campaigns. The American media is, in fact, a significant segment of the Bush Core Constituency.
Journalists may want to cover it but doing so could cost them their jobs.
So In New York, the city that witnessed the trial of John Peter Zenger in 1735 and so gave us the First Amendment, the issues of honesty by those entrusted with power is yet again on point. Honesty, integrity and simple justice are things all of us ordinary, unimportant, people grow hungrier for every single day. We know we are unimportant, we are not briefed by the White House.
When will Americans be ready to demand the honesty and justice for which we pay so dearly? When will New York weep for the honor and courage lost to the past?
I think that day is coming sooner than John Fund, Karl Rove, or George Bush realizes.
John was right about one thing. If you know the truth it will set you free.
Get off the Grids; Organize Locally; Build Coalition – and remember that honesty matters, Jesus, an person not briefed by any White House, said so.