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Subject: For All Nails, Pt. 56a: I, Mercator

I have not forgotten.

No doubt, you are asking yourself, why have I been chosen for this
task? Am I not a member of the opposition, such as is allowed to
exist? Have my editorials not been strident enough? Or is this part
of some plan to discredit me, to implicate me in one of President,
pardon, _Secretary_ Mercator's many Byzantine plots?

Well, you're implicated in any case. Sit down.

You see, in my studies of history, I have noticed a scarcity of
authentic recollections of the great leaders of the past. Jackson,
Hermion, even Kramer: how poorly they have been served by the
historians of their time! and thus, by any historians who dare
follow in their paths. By selecting _you_, however, a journalist
of unimpeachable integrity, to transcribe, and even direct, these
memoirs... well, it is the Jeffersonian ideal. Checks, and balances.

Yes, I have violated that ideal. Wasn't that simple?

Ah, we come to the meat of it. List me my infamies.

Yes. Yes. Stop there. That is a half-truth, and there is a lie that
stands behind it.

Admiral Suarez was a fine man, a credit to his nation... but I will
spare you the eulogy. You can no doubt look it up in your newspaper

"Protective custody" meant "protective custody". No more, no less.
But protect Suarez from whom? Many of Silva's cowardly faction wanted
Suarez killed outright. Those were not rumors. A Jeffersonian clique...
but I will reach that point later. It should also not surprise you to
learn that many in the Army wanted Suarez assassinated -- soldiers,
turned to men of blood after the hard fighting in China. Some were
driven mad by their experiences there. These were the men that Silva
brought back to fill our garrisons: the maimed, the embittered, the
refuse from the stockade.

'Barracks lawyer'. You see, that term has no sting for me, for it
merely reveals ignorance of military matters. There is a separate
branch of law for those under military jurisdiction, and in times
of war far more many men fall under it.

Yes, that is the cliche that stings. "Military justice is to justice
as military music is to music." Very good, sir! How many did I hang?
Oh, dozens, I suppose.

As I have said, to protect him from rogue elements within the state.
Surely you remember those days. The hanging chads, the missing ballots
of the servicemen -- many doubted the legitimacy of the governmental
process itself! We were but a single step from anarchy, and Kramer

Why not? Let me give you a confidence. I voted for Suarez myself.

[more coming shortly]