6.28.12 - During the darkest days of the Nagin administration, when hubris and hopelessness ran rampant through the Crescent City’s halls, I would often flash forward to a future time in my imagination. In that crystal ball world, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and company would prevail wearing their metaphorical white hats proudly and slinging subpoenas and indictments like six guns in the old West. The bad guys that had been out of control would be led away in handcuffs and I would smile, satisfied that order was restored and all was once again well in our corner of the world. Now, as Bills of Information come forth with mentions of “Public Official A” I realize the future I once dreamed of could be at hand. Yet, the satisfaction I once thought would be so fulfilling and gratifying just isn’t there. I think I know why.
Even IF “Public Official A” IS C. Ray Nagin and even IF he is indicted and convicted and Jim Letten and his staff did EVERYTHING right and adhered to the letter of the law…what is there to celebrate? Could it be the complete and total failure of another one of our native sons who soared so high only to crash and burn? How about another chapter added to our long legacy of laughably corrupt politicians? Or, perhaps worst of all, the national narrative that post-Katrina aid was stolen by the corrupt mayor of New Orleans? Remember, it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s TRUE…it only matters how the story is spun and what people believe.
It’s important to point out that WE DON’T KNOW if Ray Nagin is “Public Official A” and even if he is, a grand jury would have to indict him and if so he’s entitled, as we all are, to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But now that I’m thinking LOGICALLY and not EMOTIONALLY, please forgive me if “I just can’t get no satisfaction.” I’m glad the good guys are cleaning things up and the bad guys are going to jail. I just thought it would feel better than this.