Friday, June 24, 2005

NYT's Herbert: Jeb Bush has no sense of decency

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert gets the Pinellas County, Florida State Attorney to go on the record with his feelings about Governor Jeb Bush's "investigation" of Michael Schiavo.

Remember that Bush has ordered prosecutors to look into whether Michael Schiavo might have waited too long to call an ambulance after his wife collapsed 15 years ago, beginning the tragedy that ended in her death on March 31 of this year.

Mr. Herbert writes that Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas County

... did not seem particularly enthusiastic about his mission. "I wouldn't call it an investigation," he told me in a telephone conversation. The word "investigation," he said, "is a term of art in my business."

He then explained: "When I conduct an investigation, it would mean that I have a criminal predicate. In other words, that I have some indication that a crime has occurred. That's my job.

"In this circumstance, that does not exist at this time. So what I'm attempting to do is respond to the governor's request by conducting what I'm calling an 'inquiry' to see if I can resolve the issues he raised."

He chuckled at his use of the word inquiry. "It may be a distinction without a difference," he said.
Read the whole thing. There is much more, and all of it is good.

If God is just (and he is), this "inquiry" will not result in a criminal indictment against Michael Schiavo. However, the very existence of the inquiry, as Herbert lays it out, is an unequivocal moral indictment of Jeb Bush.