"In shocking news today, the New York Sun reports that Scooter Libby was authorized by none other than President Bush to leak critical Iraq intelligence to The New York Times. The latest dope in the Plame Affair, according to Libby's grand jury testimony, was from a highly classified 'National Intelligence Estimate' and was given to a Times reporter in 2003."
- Bush: Hands possibly as dirty as Scooter Libby's
- Bush authorized leak to Times, Libby told Grand Jury
Shocking news? Hardly. We need not have been prophetical to have foreseen the downfall of the Bush administration. All it took was an elementary understanding of their motivation and their willingness -- their eagerness -- to grab power through lies, dirty tricks and a complete lack of integrity.
Here's what I wrote August 27, 2005:
Independent Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's upcoming report on the Plame affair may pin the bush administration's neck to the mat for the count -- and all within a court of law.And, on October 11, 2005, I added:
Are we watching an administration in its "last throes?" No one knows for certain where Fitzgerald's investigation has led him, or what the Grand Jury findings will reveal to the world, but after watching Judith Miller being carted off to jail, a handful of co-conspirators in the White House may soon be croaking like a bullfrog at a Skull and Bones initiation.
I can't imagine a scenario in which the president and vice-president themselves are not culpable, either by commission of a crime or dereliction of duty. The simple fact remains: even if they knew nothing of the illegal leaking of a CIA operative's identity before the fact, they most certainly would have been informed after the leaks were publicized -- had they wanted to know -- faster than the yellow cake could hit the gyroscope.
Heading the list, Bush and Rove have a long history of dirty tricks. They, along with their partners in crime Cheney, Libby, Rice and Bolton, always play to win, however high the gamble or illegal the means. By lying about the reasons to take the country to war, for instance, they thumbed their noses, "big time," at the rule of law. Domestic politics (Bush as war leader), oil (Iraq had it), and the neocons' global strategy (PNAC advocacy explains it), hitched and drove the White House wagon. Ambassador Wilson's report destroyed part of their rationale for rushing to war, so as usual when challenged, they called upon their most trusted allies in the press to discredit the challenger.
Bob Novak, always the toady to a good Republican smear, outed Plame, and other reporters gave cover to traitors within the administration who were illegally peddling classified information. Judith "CIA" Miller, from her perch at the NY Times, had already, in an effort to advance the administration's case for war, relied on unsubstantiated claims of stockpiled WMD's. Her "reliable" sources? Chalabi and others working for the Bush administration. No wonder her intelligence remained secret. Miller was willing to spend time in prison to protect herself and her sources from wide-ranging testimony before a grand jury. Whose interest was she putting first -- the country's or the criminals'?
Jeff Gannon, not a real journalist but a male prostitute playing reporter online (and playing who-knows-what in the White House) claimed, then changed his story, that he had seen classified CIA documents identifying Valerie Plame. Ari Fleischer, Bush's press secretary at the time and a Bush insider, announced his retirement in May 2003 but denied having seen the secret documents. Harriet Miers was another FOG. What did she see and when did she see it? The reward for her loyalty? Uhh... don't ask.
In the end, all the reporters sang: call it the Plame Cantata. Several members of the band -- Rove, Cheney, Libby, Bolton, and possibly others -- may, and I believe will, be indicted by month's end.
Time will tell whether they are able to protect the president himself. Either way, "Bring'em on" Bush will be the biggest loser since Nixon. And rightfully so. The cure for "criminalization of politics" is to take the criminals out of politics -- in leg irons if necessary.