Jewish World Review Dec. 30, 2002 / 25 Teves, 5763
The villains of 2002
Is FBI Chief Robert Mueller a villain? Time Magazine is reporting that he has treated FBI agent Colleen Rowley shabbily. Ms. Rowley, of course, risked her career by informing Congress and the American people that the bureau had major blind spots in protecting us against terrorists. But Mueller has not rewarded Rowley. He did however single out FBI supervisor Spike Bowman for "exceptional performance." One problem, Bowman was the guy who fought Colleen Rowley over tapping the computer of suspected 9-11 terrorist Zacharias Moussaoui before the attack. Exactly what was exceptional about that bonehead call, Mr. Mueller? Unless you have an explanation, you are a bureaucratic moron, and a villain.
Another federal villain is INS Director James Ziglar. Under his leadership, that agency has endangered all of us, and it was done with arrogance. Our borders remain wide open, and when the accused sniper triggerman, John Lee Malvo, was designated for deportation by the Border Patrol in Washington State, INS supervisor Blake Brown overruled the Patrol and released Malvo into the custody of his mother, also in this country illegally . The rest is history. But did Ziglar say a word about it or produce Brown to explain the situation? No way. So Ziglar is another bureaucratic villain who has now resigned. Maybe he'll go back to trading bonds at Paine Webber.
It would be easy to call Pope John Paul a villain in this priest-pedophilia scandal. After all, he could have fired Law and the other villainous American cardinals months ago. But the pontiff did nothing, even after the evidence became overwhelming. The pope even refused to meet with a few victims during his visit to Canada earlier in the year. His public relations guy said he was "just too busy." WITH WHAT? This is the biggest scandal ever to hit the North American Church, and the pope's too busy?
But I believe John Paul is not calling the shots anymore. He is obviously ill, and my sources tell me that at times he is barely lucid. Apparently, his "handlers" keep bad news away from him. If you saw him at Midnight Mass last week, the pope could hardly keep his eyes open. So I am saying this: There is villainy inside the Vatican, but the pope may not know about it through no fault of his own. Then again, I might be wrong about that.
The leaders of North Korea and Saudi Arabia are obvious villains for doing everything they can to hurt America. But what about our German friend Gerhardt Schroeder? Now here's a classy guy. After the United States spent trillions bringing down the Soviet Union, which led to the reunification of Germany just 10 years ago, Schroeder sells out America to win reelection. He fires up anti-American sentiment and declares that Germany will not participate in the forced removal of Saddam Hussein, no matter what.
Nothing like keeping an open mind, eh, Gerhardt? The man is a villain and an ungrateful boor to boot.
Finally, there are legions of villains walking the hallways of the television industry, but VH-1 has become the Murder Incorporated of Tubeland. Its series "Music Behind Bars" features convicted killers and rapists playing in prison rock bands. Before almost every episode, family members of those murdered asked VH-1 not to feature the killers on television because the thought of it reopened all the old wounds. VH-1 did not even pause a beat, however, and continued to air the series even after almost every sponsor had dropped out. For this, VH1 President Christina Norman attains villain status, as does the program's host, actor Dylan McDermott. Television doesn't get any worse than this. Although I'd better be careful, 2003 is poised to hit us with villains galore. And next year, we'll be right here with the list.
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12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness