Deep Underground with Raul Groom

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The excellent Juan Cole has a post up today about the Plame investigation, which is notable for two reasons. One is timing; as I noted previously, Bill Safire and Bob Novak both penned articles recently excoriating the two main administration antagonists vis-a-vis the Plame affair - Safire went after the investigators themselves shortly after Novak blasted the complaining party, i.e. the Central Intelligence Agency. If you're behind on your Grooming, you can get at those articles here:

Safire hilariously laments the erosion of the freedom of the press.
Novak details the raging war between the Bush administration and the CIA, curiously omitting his own substantial role in firing the first shot of said war.

The second thing that makes Cole's post about Plame remarkable is that Cole is almost exclusively an Iraq blogger, which means that if he's hearing rumors about the Plame investigation, they must really by flying around D.C. In fact, I'm a little embarrassed I haven't heard these rumors.

But what Cole doesn't know, because he hasn't been following the Plame rumors like I have, is that all the rumors thus far have pretty much turned out to be false. Basically, we've heard several times that Fitzgerald was getting ready to indict people. Each time we heard that, there would be a development in the next couple of days clearly indicating that was not about to happen. It left a few outsiders like me with considerable egg on our faces after we predicted - several times - that Bush was about to have his balls chomped off by Pat "The Bulldog" Fitzgerald.

So since I responded to that earlier stimulus (rumors that Fitzgerald was ready to indict) by saying "Bush is doomed" and was proven wrong, I will now fallaciously assume that I am correct in responding to the opposite stimulus (rumors Fitzgerald has been pressured into backing off) by saying "Bush is doomed."

Bush is doomed.

I actually have a running debate with a guy in my office who thinks Bush is so bulletproof that even if Cheney's Chief of Staff is indicted in October, Bush will still win. Maybe he's right, but I'd love to see how Rove would squirm the Chimp in Charge out of that one.

In any case, what I think may have happened here is this - Fitz has kept his office clean of leaks throughout the case, which created an environment where people were hungry for leaks. Then, some people who really didn't know shit gave some bogus info out on background about how Fitz was ready to indict. It wasn't true.

Then, months later (around two weeks ago) Fitz actually did get pretty close to an indictment. Somebody in Justice tipped the White House, and they called up their two favorite lap dogs, old Nixon men Bill Safire and Bob Novak. They said "we're going to push the FBI to quash this stuff until after November, then we'll fire the SC and everything will be cool." They asked Safire and Novak to provide some cover fire by making the whole thing out to be a big turf war that was undermining national security (which, ironically, it probably is.)

So Fitz, being a king-hell evil prosecutorial cyborg, knows what to do. He sees to it that his office finally springs a couple leaks about how the Bush administration is pressuring his people to delay indictments. Then when the indictments come down and the Phife-dawgs in the press start yakking on and on about how the indictments are "politically motivated in an election season" Fitz can just say "Whose booty rhymes?"

That last one was for Sophia, and Nate, if you're out there. I should contact you, but I'm a coward. Selah.


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