“This is a war that I saw destroy lives,” she said. “It eliminated a generation of African American men, covered our racism in ostensibly neutral guidelines and mandatory minimums… and created an intergenerational problem––although I wasn’t on the bench long enough to see this, we know that the sons and daughters of the people we sentenced are in trouble, and are in trouble with the criminal justice system.”
She added that the War on Drugs eliminated the political participation of its casualties. “We were not leveling cities as we did in WWII with bombs, but with prosecution, prison, and punishment,” she said, explaining that her life’s work is now focused on trying to reconstruct the lives that she undermined––as a general matter, by advocating for reform, and as a specific project: she is trying to go through the list of all the people she sentenced to see who deserves executive clemency.
Awhile ago, you listed off a few Plegian knights who were revered by even Ylissean knights before the crusade. Was General Mustafa one of them? Perhaps given the circumstances of your encounter in the Midmire, you didn't think much of him, but now that a couple years have gone by and from what you do recall of him, was he as admirable a person as his peers, Henry included, say he was?
“No, unfortunately not. I’d chance to wager that General Mustafa was a Plegian war hero during the Ylissean crusades a number of years ago and was likely elevated to his station back when Gangrel was a seemingly benign ruler.
What happened at the Midmire was… regrettable. Though the general did offer us clemency and vowed to protect us as well as he could, I understand that he was under threat to apprehend us and bring us back to face the Mad King’s judgement. Regardless of how honourable General Mustafa’s intentions might have been, there was no way Gangrel would have let any of us out of his wretched kingdom with our lives. Neither party had much of a choice there that day, and so blood was spilled on the behest of a madman’s twisted vision.
To this day, I still find it difficult to stay around long enough to hear Henry’s stories of the men and women we faced during that senseless, savage war. Mustafa, I hear, left behind a wife and child whose lives he managed to save by following out his orders. What’s more, his men were as devoted to him as any other soldiers I’ve seen before or since. If those aren’t the marks of an admirable, remarkable man, then no such man has ever existed.”