Reading the petition, you could be forgiven for thinking that the dispute was over some obscure diplomatic codicil. Its principal focus is on the mechanics of the arrest, namely Switzerland's detention of Mr. Polanski on a U.S. request as he was traveling to the Zurich Film Festival. It cites Switzerland's status as a "neutral country" and the "extraterritorial nature" of film festivals. The substance of his guilty plea and the circumstances of the crime receive only glancing mention, in a single line: "His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals."
One would never know that those easily brushed off "morals"—rape and pedophilia—have actually been a central concern of some of the petition's signatories.
In their rush to defend Polanski, these film luminaries may bring the wrath of the public down on all of the entertainment industry.
Of course the upside is that most of these people defending Polanski's drugging and rape of a 13 year old girl are the same ones who bad-mouthed Charlie Sheen, Rosie O'Donnell, Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard for daring to question the official version of history. As the "Romans" fall, perhaps these icons of honesty in government will attain the honors they so richly deserve.