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October 23, 2005


I’ve read Citizen Spook’s latest. Out attorney is back on the case.
He is hinting at something when he dismisses “bitchslapping Joe Wilson”.
Here is one hypothesis.

The Iran/Contra shadow government never went away.

AQ Khan was Ollie North with nukes.

Brewster Jennings (a corporation) was tasked with COUNTERING nuclear proliferation.

Under Valerie Plame’s direction Brewster Jennings served to aid and abet AQ Khan in his proliferation activities.

AQ Khan was allowed to go about his business of nuclear proliferation in order “to gather more intelligence”.

By January 2003 the gig was up

Khan’s activities had now reached the point where it would be dangerous to allow them to go on.
Butler Report

More about January 2003 below

In July 2003 Brewster Jennings was burned. Those who knew the real story and what Plame was doing are now dead and buried.

Plame becomes pregnant sometime around January 2003

Against regulations Plame and Wilson pose for Vanity Fair January 2004 issue.

Wilson presses for prosecution under the (unenforceable) IIPA.

Iran/Contra II ends as Iran/Contra ended.

That was the plan. That was the cover story. Political vindictiveness as exemplified by Scooter Libby’s “obsession” with Wilson

But as CS says, they have taken a huge risk. Why?

Because the intent, shared by Cheney and Wilson, was to bury Brewster Jennings and the evidence it contained.

The “war” between Wilson and Cheney is a part of the amateur dramatics.



“Khan’s activities had now reached the point where it would be dangerous to allow them to go on.”

That’s when Bush made the SOTU address.

Those “sixteen words” about British intelligence.

Brewster Jennings knew it to be a lie.

Brewster Jennings knew the Niger documents were forgeries.

Brewster Jennings rebelled. That’s why the gig was up.

That’s why the rebels at Brewster Jennings were betrayed to the enemy in a time of war.

Howard Dean agrees: "This isn't about Karl Rove and Libby. This is about that the President took us to war on a lie, and the way they got involved was in trying to cover it up."

not verbatim, from memory on ABC 5 min ago. Clearly took all the legal troubles back to "went to war on a lie."

watch Kay Bailey Apologizer (R-TX) on MTP explaining that perjury is just a little thing. You knew it was coming, but it won't work.

Just like the Clinton smear comes down to "I never had sex with that woman ... ." Splitting hairs. Basically, it was a lie. Oral sex "is" still sex.

The Nixon statement is similar. It's a lie because breaking into someplace crosses the line from "dirty tricks" to criminal behavior. So he was a "crook."

Just like Clinton should have said, "It's none of your damn business," Nixon should have, well, okay, Nixon actually committed a crime so that is in fact different, but, he should have said something like, "I made a terrible mistake. I'm very sorry. I will resign. After all, it's just a job, and another man can take my place." That's why the "the cover-up is worse than the crime" expression stuck. Nixon could have maintained his dignity if he had not continued to lied to the end. [I'm resigning for the good of the country, not because I did anything wrong.] So in the public's perception, the cover-up is worse. If you fess up and take your lumps, you will be loved.

So what is Bush's immortal statement? Nothing really comes to mind immediately. Maybe it hasn't been uttered yet. Probably it will come in the spin campaign after the indictments are announced ...

But I think you are right that the larger issue of "wargate" is the undertow that is pulling them down here. So I suppose the immortal statement will have to be somehow related to that larger issue.

So I suppose the immortal statement will have to be somehow related to that larger issue.

we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

David Brooks on this week keeps a straight face while saying the indictments are not a big story "politically" and that most Americans haven't heard about what's going on with Rove and Libby. Suuuure.

The Grinch hated Fitzmas!
The whole Fitzmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps that his shoes were too tight.

Actually, allow me to add that it is not just "wargate" that is pulling them down. It is also the Clinton impeachment. How can they say that perjury is a small thing when they tried to impeach a president for it? And Clinton wasn't lying about a crime.

I guess I'm still apprehensive because the Republicans have controlled the political discourse of the country for so long that it's hard to imagine that they won't find a way to limit the damage on the indictments, if there are any indictments. But that could change depending on how far Fitzgerald wants and is able to go. There have been reports that he contacted the Italian authorities about the forged letter. Will he post information about it on his website to explain motive? How many insiders has he flipped to make a case against Rove and Libby? And does he have enough to go after Cheney? If there are affirmative answers to some, or preferably all of these questions, then the argument aht Libby and Rove were patriots trying to defend the country will be "inoperative."

KdmFromPhila, my point is simply this: what are you hearing and reading about this week? Who's on the defensive? You tell me who's winning the narrative wars.

Even small indictments open up very big questions to ask.

TTT (T3? 3T? Trip-T?): Wouldn't that be something if my own theory on impeachment-proofing ended up backfiring in a way that made it impossible to duck responsibility for Wargate?

Antiaristo: You're freaking me out, man!

Dem, agreed. In the back of my mind was the image of Oliver North in uniform during the Iran-Contra hearings.His performance was one of the key moments in changing the discussion of the scandal.

What's curious about Plamegate is that we have known for some time what happened in general terms (i.e. the leak), but we still don't have a good idea of who all of the players are. Is it conceivable that Rove and Libby already have an informal deal worked out with the White House: they'll take the fall for Bush and Cheney and in exchange, they'll be pardoned in Jan '09? That might prevent the narrative from expanding (and lasting as long as it should.) That's why I'll be really curious to see if Fitzgerald goes after Cheney. If he does, the narrative will be the proverbial albatross around the administration for the next 3 years.

Wilson and Plame's threatened civil suit should remove Bush pardons as an out.
And I don't think Cheney will be indicted, unless Hannah says he suggested the whole thing. But he doesn't need to be. Reporters will be turning over every rock, now.

What's needed is a Dem majority in 2006, either chamber. And whichever it is will then hold hearings.

Just got done watching Russert, and boy was it fun watching Kay Bailey Hutchison squirm over perjury.

They're tripping over both the Clinton analogy and the Martha Stewart defense because most people have a sense that the seriousness of a lie depends on what you were lying about. A blow job? A $40,000 insider tip? Going to war?

-- Rick

'...though he adds Rove did it to get Junior elected (after Osama got away....'

I'm convinced that the electoral politics were primary.

Iraq's not a war, it's a campaign commercial.

Properly exploited, it will deliver four national elections.

It has already delivered the 2002 Congressional elections, which became a referendum on going in at all.

It has already delivered the 2004 Presidential and Congressional elections, when the election essentially turned on a question of who would prosecute the war more effectively -- in other words with greater lethality. The election became a poker game played with the bodies of dead Moslems. Bush won because he came to the table with a bankroll, Kerry only with promises. And Kerry was playing poker against the banker, to boot.

I fully expect the 2006 election to go the GOP's way, after 'Operation Homeward Heroes' or whatever else the Marketing Division comes up with as the brand name for the bug-out. All the "The war was a bad idea, which we can prosecute more efficiently" Democrats will look mighty foolish when the parades hit.

In 2007, forces operating out of Iraq, having collapsed into a terrorist-friendly failed state, a super-Afghanistan, wreak havoc here and abroad. Blowback City. The Year of Living Dangerously. Made possible by the complete ineptitude of DHS.

The 2008 Presidential election, as a result, becomes a referendum on 'Who Lost Iraq?'. The consensus answer: Cindy Sheehan, and whatever poor bastard winds up with the Democratic nomination, which won't be worth shit as the nation is again the victim of terror.

Four elections from one medium-sized war.

Less than a trillion dollars -- borrowed dollars at that.

Only a few thousand dead soldiers.

A small price to pay for control of the most powerful nation in the world for a decade or so, considering what can be done in the asset-stripping line over such a stretch of time.

A generation's worth of court appointments, as langiappe.

Iraq -- the greatest political campaign ad buy of all time.

Rick, that's it in a nutshell. The David Brooks of this world who are apologizing for Bush because it's an itty bitty nothing ('who in the hinterlands has heard of Rove, anyway?') are so full of shit their ears need scrubbing. They've got to come up with something... so Brooks came up with this (The Savior of the Right - guess who that would be?):

Voters preferred Democratic ideas on issue after issue by 20-point margins. The G.O.P.'s foreign policy views were veering toward isolationism, its immigration policy was veering toward nativism, its social conservatism had crossed into censoriousness, and after it became clear that voters didn't want to slash government, its domestic policy had hit a dead end.

Almost single-handedly, Bush reconnected with the positive and idealistic instincts of middle-class Americans. He did it by recasting conservatism more significantly than anyone had since Ronald Reagan. He rejected the prejudice that the private sector is good and the public sector is bad, and he tried to use government to encourage responsible citizenship and community service. He sought to mobilize government so the children of prisoners can build their lives, so parents can get data to measure their school's performance, so millions of AIDS victims in Africa can live another day, so people around the world can dream of freedom.

he's desperate to preserve whatever respect his agenda has left, and fears George W Nixon will spoil everything. He lurches from week to wee - Katrina ended it - no, i have faith, i do - Bush bad - Bush savior - there's no place like home) it's become silly. George Will, at least has the guts to call Bush a failure, like on Miers.

Ryan Lizza's characterization of faith vs reality conservatives (that's faith in W) seems to be holding up.

This whole story is indeed about the run-up to the war. With Miller in disgrace, I really hope/think the media will now begin to dig, and hopefully the story will come out. Either way, the scandal is going to be a drag on Bush until he's out...one way or the other.

Everyone else and their dog is weighing in with predictions, so here's mine FWIW:


The reason "the cover-up is worse than the crime" is political. To be caught in the act of hiding something is the ultimate exposure. It's the most naked, irrevocable confession of guilt.

This time it's a case of concealment within concealment. The "original crime" after all, was an attempt to quash Wilson's revelation of their mistakes and possibly misdeeds (fogery) in the Niger matter.

None of this would matter so much if it didn't fit a pattern, if there were some way to keep the veneer of competence in place. They're trying to do it with "National Security!" as usual. But there are just too many holes in those pantihose. Whatever the legalisms about their intent and their belief in the Niger documents and in their case against Iraq, the broad fact is they were wrong about all that stuff, and the only way to keep it from hurting them is to keep it from ever coming up in polite conversation ("the election was our accountability moment! Just move on!").

Now Plame brings it all to the fore again: that they were wrong, and they didn't want anyone to find out they were wrong, which meant they knew they were wrong, because they knew they had something to hide, because they got caught trying to hide it, and then hide the fact that they hid it. Like some pimply adolescent scrambling to shove the dirty magazine under the mattress when Mom comes in to vacuum. "Hi Ma! Just lyin here! Honest!"

That's just not The Cowboy Way, is it. Covering up your mistakes and hoping you won't get caught, and doing all kinds of shameful little things to straighten the covers and hide the tent in your shorts and keep the glossy pages from spilling out all over the floor. Pretty hard to spin that as The Adults Are In Charge.

Maybe they could prevent the meme from crystallizing around them if other things were going their way. But sour, adolescent whiff of unbathed incompetence has been in the air too long. Iraq, Social Security, deficits, Iraq, Katrina, Delay, Mier, Iraq. Maybe even a little Abramoff. Now this. Nope, the Randall Scott mask has fallen off, however this plays out. It's all Barney Fife from here on in.

The narrative here is even more cynical. Before taking office, Bush was looking at how he was going to do things. He and his coterie decided that the way to get a large domestic agenda through Congress was to win a war. They were looking at Iraq in 1999.

Their goal was to remove all tax on income made on capital investment.

This war was started so that they could dramatically change the tax structure of America.

more of the narrative:

The negative effects on Mr. Bush's presidency from indictments of his senior aides, said James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, would be as great as the positive effects of Mr. Bush's handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"This is the most important turning point for his administration in terms of turning down and losing support," Mr. Thurber said.

A weakened White House, he said, could lead to further infighting among the conservatives who provide most of Mr. Bush's legislative, grassroots and financial support, and could leave the administration with even less political clout to sway Democrats in Republican-leaning states to back Mr. Bush's agenda. In the Senate, Mr. Bush has depended on support from at least a few Democrats to push through many of his major initiatives.

I'm not the only one that takes issue with the ''coverup is worse than the crime''.

Alot of people either don't know or don't care about what the Nazi leadership was tried, convicted, and executed for at Nuremburg at the end of WWII. The official charge was not 'crimes against humanity.' (God knows they did that though) There was no body of international law at that time regarding the prosecution of such things as 'crimes against humanity.'

The American chief prosecutor at Nuremburg tried and executed the leadership of the German Reich for 'starting and waging a war of aggression'. Period.

He was confident he could make the case for that single charge and that was all he needed to hang the whole bunch, literally.

The Bush-cabal has done the same in my book by intentionally starting a 'war of aggression' with lies and deceptions against a country that had not attacked us.

They, the Bush-cabal ( and Blair and Co.) deserve the same fate at the hands of the International Crime Tribunal.


You know a President is in trouble when James Thurber is writing stories about him.

Whatever the legalisms about their intent and their belief in the Niger documents and in their case against Iraq, the broad fact is they were wrong about all that stuff... They were more than wrong, they engaged in a campaign of deceit. The Downing Street memo flap showed that exhaustively. US sources have not given us much evidence of deliberate deceit, yet, but the British sources have been superb.

Bush claimed that he was relying on British intel for the uranium lie, so now he'll have a heck of a time (Brownie!) distancing himself from what the British knew about their own sexed up evidence. And the Brits said again and again in the leaked documents that the WMD evidence they're generating is thin and inconclusive. One of the documents from spring 2002 even shows how the Blair government was trying to get their public pronouncements about WMD to line up with what BushCo. was saying.

On top of that, we have Robin Cook's expose of Blair's campaign of deception. He says in his memoir, Point of Departure, that he got a private briefing about the WMD intel a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq. His conclusion...the case for war was a crock, and many of the government's WMD claims from the fall of 2002 had been invalidated. So he confronted Blair about it, who all but admitted to Cook that he'd abandoned those earlier claims. However, Cook notes, Blair never set the record straight in public or to Parliament--for which Blair was criminally liable, at least in theory.

Same goes for Bush. If he deceived Congress or the nation about the case for war, it's a violation of federal law. Damn hard to spin that into nothing.

Btw, Nixon uttered the 'not a crook' thing about his exposure for not paying his income taxes while President. That was in the middle of Watergate, a reminder that plenty of other scandals for Bush can erupt in the meantime.

Nixon's tax problems came out of the blue, sort of. A reporter on the Newport RI beat started digging for dirt on Nixon. IIRC that was after Nixon decided to punish the Dems in RI by closing down the venerable Newport naval base. Sometimes the crows come back to roost from strange quarters. A lot of reporters are fed up with Bush and they may start looking around for dirt.

smintheus, as I said above, reporters will be turning over every rock.

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