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July 31, 2018

‘Rat’ in the Crosshair

Harry M. Covert

The time has arrived for a breather, at least for a moment, from the knock-down, drag-out, verbal political fisticuffs that have overtaken the sensibilities up-and-down the land of opportunity.


We can admit: the battleground is exceptionally fun despite the rigorous, surreptitious and overtly called friendly talk. Certainly what’s going on isn’t truly nice at all. We've discussed this at considerable length, and it’s not going to stop any time in the near or later future.


Of late, some big timers are putting themselves squarely in the crosshairs, and the word becomes “snitch.”


That’s the glow for our discussion in these paragraphs. I’m not sure if the thought has occurred to the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I sort of guess that “Tony Soprano’s” quote “Hello Rat” has reached a few insiders and rightly so.


This is related to recent reports that Lawyer Michael Cohen, once a legal stalwart for President Donald J. Trump, is anxious to save his own neck and spill the beans whatever they may be.


Can excitement get any better for all of us? Of course it will. Let’s agree. It’s thrilling to learn that leaking and turn-coating on friends is alive and well.


This isn’t about once trusted American spies for Russia like FBI agent Robert Hanssen, CIA’s Aldrich Ames, Navy’s John Walker and family, or the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Ava Montes. They are and were real traitors.


Mr. Cohen, of New York, is quite something. If his flipping for the Mueller gang materializes, it probably won’t amount to a hill of beans. Most likely he’ll be disbarred for ethical violations. Oh, he will join the ranks of others known as “rats,” not rapscallions.


Many will be in the public eye again for their double-dealing. I can’t resist mentioning such characters as former White House counsel, then a lawyer, John Dean, who to this day is Gordon Liddy’s favorite squealer. Then there is the late Mark Felt, the FBI’s associate director known as “Deep Throat” in the Watergate scandal. Mr. Dean is now an “expert” cable commentator.


To this day, every young person intrigued by investigative reporting can thank their lucky stars for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.


“Rats” like Mr. Dean and Mr. Felt did force Richard Nixon from his presidency with their recollections. What a historical period.


Since those dramatic days, energetic young reporters, professionally tabbed as journalists, are always on the hunt for good inside facts and rumors. This is good for the writing business. Keeps those in public life on their toes.


While Mr. Cohen is a legal eagle, he has been a political figure. He apparently has forgotten that “an honest politician when bought, stays bought.” This quote is attributed to many, but first used by Simon Cameron, an American back in the 1800s and borrowed by other speechifiers.


When the Cohen saga is completed, he will probably feel like he’s been figuratively garroted, strangled. In real life, he may have saved himself from a federal prison, but the title pariah will follow, and he will constantly be looking over his shoulder.


Otherwise, political intrigue continues as the day’s order.


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