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October 26, 2005

The Great Unraveling Begins

Rumor has it that today’s the day for the first indictments.  The house of deceit, of arrogance, of corruption, of neocon “entitlement” to control of foreign policy is all about to come crashing down.  We finally see some real reporting starting to happen so it’s unlikely that the unraveling can be stopped now that it has started. 

Focusing just on the “Outing of Valerie Plame” aspects of the unraveling we have:

A Carpetbagger roundup of stories coming in over the last 12 hours.  Two tidbits:

* The fact that Fitzgerald is still exploring the fact that Plame's undercover identity was still very much a secret, Mark Kleiman says, suggests that the investigation is not limited to perjury/false statements/obstruction charges and may still focus on "some substantive offense about revealing secret information."

* The American public already seems to believe that the White House's conduct was problematic, at a minimum. According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, about 40% believe some administration officials acted illegally in the matter, a similar percentage believe administration officials acted unethically, while only one in 10 Americans said they believe Bush administration officials did nothing illegal or unethical. For a scandal that's just now breaking in a big way, that's not a good starting point for the Bush White House.

This morning's Washington Post says that Libby will be first, no surprise there, but then adds:

The trail has often led to Cheney's office, which officials describe as ground zero in the effort to promote, execute and defend the Iraq war and the campaign to convince Americans and the world that Saddam Hussein had amassed a stockpile of the most dangerous kinds of weapons. According to the report in yesterday's Times, the investigation also led to Cheney himself.

Kevin Drum speculates about the importance of Fitzgerald’s probes into understanding the story about the uranium forgeries.  His theory about why the administration was panicked about what Wilson was saying:

Well, there was something the White House knew at that point that the rest of us didn't. They knew that not only were the Nigerien documents fake, but that they had been proven fake the previous year — though not by Wilson or the IAEA. At that time, everybody thought the timeline went like this: (1) Bush gives SOTU address in January 2003, (2) IAEA proves Nigerien documents are phony in March. That's bad, but not catastrophic. However, the real timeline, known to only a few, was this: (1) State Department determines Nigerien docs are phony in October 2002, (2) Bush mentions African uranium anyway in January SOTU address.

The irrepressible Jane Hamsher asks if we can possibly believe that W is not in this up to his eyeballs.  She looks at it from a psychological perspective.  Joe Wilson was the darling “preferred son” of the folks his father hung around with. Here, she’s speculating about the beginning of the attempt to get Wilson from W’s perspective:

So Poppys best friend Scowcroft (who's already on record for publicly calling Junior a fuckup) carries Wilson's article down to the White House and swats Junior over the head with it like a dog that had peed on the rug. Acting as a stand-in for his war veteran dad, holding Wilson up as a model of patriotism and bravery while laughing at Nintendo boy for launching a foolish war from the comfort of his Barcalounger.

Jesus tapdancing Christ. You think THAT didn't raise every hair on the back of Junior's neck?

And Arianna sums up the case and more importantly the reasons why it is so important to us as a country:

But what they were covering up was much more than the outing of Valerie Plame. They were covering up the way the White House had used lies and deception to lead us into a war that was reckless and unnecessary -- what Lt. Gen. William Odom, National Security Agency director under Reagan, has called "the greatest strategic disaster in United States history."

The reason why Cheney, Rove, and Libby were so aggressive in attacking anyone who questioned their rationale for war is because, by the summer of 2003, it was becoming embarrassingly clear how wrong they had been about Iraq -- wrong about WMD, wrong about flowers thrown at our feet, wrong about the cost of the war. Had their incompetence not been so grotesquely manifest, there would have been no need for the attack on Wilson -- and the resulting coverup -- that has now landed them all in such legal hot water.

She ends with this:

I'm not saying that Plamegate is the same as Watergate. I'm saying it's worse. Much, much worse. No one died as a result of Watergate, but 2,000 American soldiers have now been killed and thousands more wounded to rid the world of an imminent threat that wasn't.
Could there be anything bigger?

After getting a fumbling cipher like George W. Bush elected president, the powers-behind-the-throne must have believed they were untouchable and could get away with anything -- including lying about WMD, outing a CIA agent, and, perhaps, lying to a special prosecutor.

Posted by Lynn Allen on October 26, 2005 at 08:15 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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wow, as serious as all of this really is, given what Arianna writes, it does feel a little like Christmas Eve used to feel when I was a little girl. The anticipation and excitement is really building and it is finally, finally here.

Posted by: lisa | Oct 26, 2005 12:09:56 PM

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