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Did Dick make him do it?
October 11, 2005 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Did Dick make him do it? The Huffington Report claims that both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomsburg News are working on stories indicating that Vice President Dick Cheney is the target of the special prosecutor's investigation into Plamegate. George Stephanopoulos also recently claimed that a source close to the investigation told him that Cheney and Bush were involved in discussions on how to handle the Wilson affair that may have led to the leak. Meanwhile, Cheney's chief spokesman has left the country until October 26th, two days before the conclusion of the grand jury investigation.
posted by insomnia_lj (91 comments total)

 
If there is a god the next post relating to this story will either be "Wilson gets his frog-march" or "Wilson gets no frog-march".

Until then we really can't do anything but speculate pointlessly. Fitzgerald hasn't leaked so far, he's not about to start now.
posted by clevershark at 7:32 PM on October 11, 2005


President Hastert?

[kind of like president ford]
posted by caddis at 7:36 PM on October 11, 2005


This is all pretty much handwaving. As much as I'd like Cheney to be nailed for something, too, it all seems far too wishful. It'll be an interesting result from the investigation.

Incidentally, is it just me, or are the democrats still not capitalizing on any of this whatsoever?
posted by blacklite at 7:38 PM on October 11, 2005


Until then we really can't do anything but speculate pointlessly.

I can wait ...
maybe its like waiting for christmas ...
posted by R. Mutt at 7:39 PM on October 11, 2005


"I just remembered that I left a pie in the oven... In Iraq... See you guys in a couple of weeks!"
posted by klangklangston at 7:41 PM on October 11, 2005


is it just me, or are the democrats still not capitalizing on any of this whatsoever?

It may not be intentional - they've certainly bungled many good opportunities to capitalize on good stuff - but in this case I think they're playing it exactly right. Giving the warring factions a vocal enemy to complain about, and fixate on, undercuts the best part of this, which is that they're all ready to dime each other out as they realize their whole operation is going down in flames.
posted by soyjoy at 7:45 PM on October 11, 2005


Oh, and: Come ONNNN, Frog March!
posted by soyjoy at 7:47 PM on October 11, 2005


Well, we've gone from "maybe Rove" to "Rove, maybe Scooter" to "Rove, Scooter and Bush/Cheney were in meetings about it" to "Rove. Scooter and Cheney" -- sounds like a reasonable progression for a large investigation.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:47 PM on October 11, 2005


Well I for one, pointlessly speculate that Cheney was behind the whole thing, that he will not face any serious charges nor will anyone else who was involved. Only the moderately innocent will be screwed once again. As it was written, so shall it be done. (Spoken in a sassy African American twang ala whatever that movie was where Richard Pryor was in ancient Egypt or something.) Was it Wholly Moses? Sorry for the derail.
posted by snsranch at 7:47 PM on October 11, 2005



posted by squalor at 7:48 PM on October 11, 2005


Of course at least Cheney was involved. I doubt he or any of the main figures in the leak were initially aware that Plame was covert, however. As Jack Shafer has long said, the bar for prosecution against violations of the IIPA is relatively high and it's going to be hard to prove that any of the mucky-mucks were truly in violation. I don't really buy into the speculation that Fitz is gunning for them under the more general espionage laws, mostly because it would be a very, very weak indictment and not likely to stand up to court scrutiny.

What he's really been looking for, and knowing he'd find, is perhaps a more generalized criminal conspiracy prosecutable under the IIPA or, more likely, a conspiracy involving a coverup to hide, principally, Rove and Libby's questionable activities and participation in the leak, possibly perjury to the grand jury, and suborning perjury.

One thing that hasn't been talked about now for a long time in the press, not since the summer, is that any effective prosecution under the IIPA is going to rely upon exactly what the classified State Dept. memo said about Plame that we know several White House staffers read prior to the Plame leak. It may have unambiguously identified her as covert. It may not have. I think it did not. But even if it didn't, and even if the initial leak wasn't made with the awareness that Plame was covert, it's highly likely that her covert status became known shortly thereafter while the leakers were still leaking and talking to these columnists. Given that these guys have taken the position, probably partly truthful for obvious reasons, that they heard about Plame from the press, it's hard to prove direct wrongdoing.

But the situation stinks and it's been obvious that it stinks. Assuming the WH didn't know Plame's was covert when they leaked, they could come forward and done the right thing as soon as that became apparent. Instead, they did exactly the opposite, which is their MO. This is where the dirt really is. The most recent indications/speculation are that part of what is happening with Judith Miller is that her testimony and notes show that Libby possibly perjured himself. Complicating sorting this out is that Miller is so cozy with, firstly, the civilian leadership of the Pentagon and, secondly and in very direct relationship to the first, the White House VP staff, it's never been clear at all what her true motives have been for refusing to testify (until recently). It's extremely possible that she's been covering her own ass under the guise of taking a principled stance. On the other hand, maybe not. In my opinion, she's been sort of a wild card in this; it's been very hard to figure out how she truly fits in. But we'll find out soon.

It beggars the imagination to suppose that Libby and Rove would have been chiefly involved without Cheney being aware of the plans. But it also beggars the imagination that he's a target that can actually be touched (in this matter).
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:48 PM on October 11, 2005


Shouldn't there be a Dharma logo on that shark?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:48 PM on October 11, 2005


Dharma or Karma, take your pick.

Speaking of wild, delicious speculation, this looks pretty damn interesting...
posted by soyjoy at 8:05 PM on October 11, 2005


Hmmm, if HuffPo and Raw Story are both right this must be the same WSJ article... looks like it's gonna be something, even if neither has it exactly correct.
posted by soyjoy at 8:10 PM on October 11, 2005


For background and some answers to L'Affair Plame, see my two AskMe answers here. In particular, see my footnote to my second comment regarding the source of the Niger intel and the VPs office for what I think is the strongest possibility for a wider conspiracy Fitz is angling for (but I think this is a long-shot).

Ask any other question you might like about this of me here—I've followed this very closely for, what?, two years now? Most of my analysis has turned out to be correct, in contradiction to that of many talking heads, a fact of which I think I'm justifiably proud. Most recently (actually, back in the summer) I speculated that Miller's protected source was most likely Libby, a speculation that turned out to be correct. (Not that that was much of a stretch, mind you. Libby was from the beginning the most likely central participant, moreso than Rove.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:28 PM on October 11, 2005


Well, Ethereal Bligh ... nice work there ....
posted by R. Mutt at 8:36 PM on October 11, 2005


If one must speculate anything, it's that by the end of the year most of us here (after all this is "an anti-Bush site", as the reactionaries keep bringing up) are likely to be even more disgusted with the Administration than we've ever been -- and that's no mean achievement by late 2005.
posted by clevershark at 8:37 PM on October 11, 2005




Ouch!
NBC’s Howard Fineman: There are “emerging divisions within the administration over why we went into that war, how we went into that war and what was done to sell it. There are people who are out for Karl Rove inside that White House, which makes his situation even more perilous.”
posted by ericb at 8:40 PM on October 11, 2005


Shouldn't there be a Dharma logo on that shark?

Yup ... as here and here -- 4 8 15 16 23 42 -- it's all in the numbers and the Ba Gua.
posted by ericb at 8:47 PM on October 11, 2005


Here's a fantasy scenario for ya -- Bush, having finally recognized that it was pressure from Cheney that led to the biggest single blunder of his Presidency (Iraq), has decided to basically let the VP sink under his own weight and to take no action to save him; even possibly distancing himself from Cheney.

The Harriet Miers SCOTUS candidacy is a big hint that this might be happening. Clearly this is something that Cheney had no input on. Reportedly Bush didn't even break the news to Dick himself, preferring to let his people talk to Cheney's people.

The only problem is that, even supposing that George might be having a "moment of clarity", his judgement's still pretty poor. That same Miers candidacy is a pretty clear sign of that. Literally Bush is putting forward someone who's done little but cheer for him since his Texas days. Frankly it's a candidacy superbly void of substance.
posted by clevershark at 8:48 PM on October 11, 2005


Until then we really can't do anything but speculate pointlessly. Fitzgerald hasn't leaked so far, he's not about to start now.

I agree. It's all speculation. No one has a crystal ball on this one.

That being said, this is an interesting article on Patrick Fitzgerald from USA Today.
posted by ericb at 8:55 PM on October 11, 2005


While I would love the idea of Cheney's influence waning, the idea that Bush might be making decisions on his own is too frightening.
posted by teece at 8:59 PM on October 11, 2005


I think clevershark is probably very close to the mark. Bush is extremely loyal and he's very unlikely to truly abandon any of his closest people; nevertheless, it must be obvious even to him that he's in trouble and it's among these folks where his chief vulnerability lies. So, perhaps even by their advice, he distances himself from them, they keep a low profile.

The problem, though, is that Bush is an idiot. I've never for a single moment doubted this, even though many on the left have constructed elaborate theories of he as the true brilliant mastermind using his supposed idiocy as a cover. Nope, the guy is an idiot. His instincts in most things, certain in being President of the US, are horrible. He's not going to do very well without these admittedly very smart people who've been guiding him.

This is, I think, an administration in the midst of an historic unraveling, on the cusp of reaching Watergate-era levels of unpopularity, even accounting for the GOP base that will never truly abandon Bush. The occupation and rationale for the invastion of Iraq is approaching the status of being the sort of albatross around the admin's neck the Vietnam was was thirty years ago.

The reason that the admin is finally beginning to show signs of true unraveling is that there is sort of a "perfect storm" gathering where the results of many of its very bad former judgments are coming home to roost all at once. I mean, there's a self-reinforcing relationship here, as a sufficient degree of damage invites an even greater degree of damage.

I'd like to think we might see some truly historic specific scandals, but I think this is unlikely. Think back to Spirow Agnew—is anything CheneyCo involved in equal to that? Almost certainly not. Not, at least, in such a way that he's vulnerable. So I think that anyone hoping for a single spectacular implosion of this admin are hoping in vain. It's not going to happen like that. Instead, we're going to see Dems make substantial inroads in the elections of '06, we're going to see a Dem Pres in '08, and the GOP will be spending a lot of time and energy distancing themselves from the Bush legacy with regard to, primarily, Iraq and fiscal policy.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:00 PM on October 11, 2005


But if Cheney isn't going to be President anymore, all we have left is...... Bush?
posted by spilon at 9:02 PM on October 11, 2005


Until then we really can't do anything but speculate pointlessly.

Quite true, anything said here, Huffington Post, Dailykos, Agonist et al., is mere speculation and, um, well as the post reflects: claims, indications and the obvious (conspiracy) theory.

Thanks for the info.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:02 PM on October 11, 2005


This, too, is interesting: "Poll: Americans Favor Bush's Impeachment If He Lied about Iraq."
posted by ericb at 9:04 PM on October 11, 2005


Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) -- "Focus of CIA Leak Probe Appears to Widen" :
"...There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought. Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.

...Mr. Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy.

...Lawyers familiar with the investigation believe that at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group. Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. Rove and Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion. The group likely would have played a significant role in responding to Mr. Wilson's claims.

Given that the grand jury is set to expire on Oct. 28, it is possible charges in this case could come as early as next week. Former federal prosecutors say it is traditional not to wait for the last minute and run the risk of not having enough jurors to reach a quorum. There are 23 members of a grand jury, and 16 are needed for a quorum before any indictments could be voted on. This grand jury has traditionally met on Wednesdays and Fridays."
posted by ericb at 9:15 PM on October 11, 2005


Sounding more and more like we are going to dust off an old label for this President: "unindicted co-conspirator". I'm betting that Cheney, Rove and Scooter will be indicted.
posted by spock at 9:15 PM on October 11, 2005


This 'BROADER CONSPIRACY' story is fascinating. From what I see in The Raw Story article, they've widened the scope of the investigation to include the whole run-up to the war. Basically, by attacking someone who criticized a piece of the war package, the administration is having the entire package scrutinized from a legal perspective.

If there was ever hope of holding the administration responsible for this war, it looks like the Plaime investigation might be it...
posted by VulcanMike at 9:16 PM on October 11, 2005


ericb, I'd dare guess that somewhere around 49% of voting Americans would want Bush impeached regardless of his lies about Iraq.
posted by Saydur at 9:20 PM on October 11, 2005


Saydur writes "I'd dare guess that somewhere around 49% of voting Americans would want Bush impeached regardless of his lies about Iraq."

That's where you'd be wrong... those 49% would want him indicted *because* of the lies, they just don't need further proof that those were lies.
posted by clevershark at 9:23 PM on October 11, 2005


I'd dare guess that somewhere around 49% of voting Americans would want Bush impeached regardless of his lies about Iraq.

True, but it's fascinating to see Bush losing support from many of his supporters, as evidenced by the far-right, Christian coalition upset with his choice of Harriet Miers and their distancing from him vis-a-vis Iraq. Quite an interesting article in Tuesday's Financial Times: "Conservatives and exiles desert war campaign."
posted by ericb at 9:25 PM on October 11, 2005


Give them enought rope...and they'll just have more rope. I fear this cycle will just never end. They won't get caught with their hands in the cookie jar - we'll just notice a few more cookies missing and swear we saw Cheney crunching something earlier.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:27 PM on October 11, 2005


My father talked about how the Nixon administration just kept thinking they could get away with anything, and eventually they got caught and tripped up. I'd like to think the same thing about Bush's administration...

But then again, what's gonna come next? New Ford, new Carter, malaise, new Republican telling us everything's gonna be fine...
posted by klangklangston at 9:28 PM on October 11, 2005


"far-right, Christian coalition upset with his choice of Harriet Miers"

The Christian conservatives are mostly okay with the choice, partly signaled by Dobson's approval. It's the rest of the right, exemplified by the neocon right such as The Weekly Standard, that are astonishingly critical.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:29 PM on October 11, 2005


Do we have the death penalty for treason?
posted by amberglow at 9:38 PM on October 11, 2005


"Former federal prosecutors say it is traditional not to wait for the last minute and run the risk of not having enough jurors to reach a quorum. . . This grand jury has traditionally met on Wednesdays and Fridays."

So then... you're saying that they meet on Wednesdays and Fridays, right? and that since it's safer for them not to pick the last day -- Friday Oct. 28th -- to issue indictments, they're likely to use a slightly earlier date instead... such as Wednesday October 26th?
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:43 PM on October 11, 2005


The Christian conservatives are mostly okay with the choice

I get confused these days as to who's in charge of the "Christian Coalition" -- is it Bauer, Buchanan, Dobson or someone else. Nonetheless, they seem to be divided on this one.
posted by ericb at 9:47 PM on October 11, 2005


*is it Bauer, Buchanan, Dobson or someone else?*
posted by ericb at 9:48 PM on October 11, 2005


bad news if there's a vice presidential vacancy and Bush can pick the 2008 candidate . . . but then he'd probably pick his uncle or something anyway
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:51 PM on October 11, 2005


Now that's a ridiculous correction. I think we all got that the sentence was interrogative. Just let those ride, buddy.
posted by soyjoy at 9:53 PM on October 11, 2005


I reckon (really I do) that by no later than a year from now, some MeFi thread will be 500 comments deep in speculation over who Curious George will nominate to be his new Vice President, and speculation will be strong for Condoleeza. Of course, my crystal ball is known to be very silly at times. Carry on.
posted by moonbird at 9:56 PM on October 11, 2005


Now that's a ridiculous correction

My sincerest apologies -- my OCD tends to peek after I have had a drink, or two. ;-)
posted by ericb at 9:57 PM on October 11, 2005


The Christian coalition is run by none of those, ericb. It is Pat Robertson's (former) baby, now run by Roberta Combs. It is also on the ropes, financially, and is not paying its bills.

Dobson is the boss of Focus on your own damn the Family. I think Bauer has his own medieval group, too, but I don't know what it is. Buchanan is just the garden variety paloeconservative.
posted by teece at 9:59 PM on October 11, 2005


Corruption in the White House? What corruption in the White House? Don't you know there's new, surprising, breaking news about terrorism?
posted by VulcanMike at 10:01 PM on October 11, 2005


teece -- ah, yes. my bad in invoking the term "Christian Coalition." I meant to indicate "Christian Conservatives." It gets "oh-so-confusing" as to who is "in charge" of "what." Nonetheless you and Ethereal Bligh point out the distinctions in who is who. Thanks to both of you. At the very least we may be witnessing the adandonment of Bush from those who he has courted for quite some time. The implications of such have yet to be determined.
posted by ericb at 10:05 PM on October 11, 2005


During the spring, Fitzgerald was saying that he was pretty much finished and he just needed to talk to Cooper and Miller to wrap everything up. I think that was a trap.

Miller finally testified last week, and the wheels are coming off the wagon. She's coming back in to testify, Rove testifies for the fourth time, and her mysteriously-discovered notes potentially put Libby in trouble for perjury. And there was the suspiciously-timed story recently that said Rove told Bush he wasn't involved, which is clearly an attempt to shield Bush.

Bush may be an idiot, but I think he was involved in the plot against Wilson. Bush was the hatchet man during his father's run for president, and he's vindictive and petty.

If you go back to one of the early stories about the case:
a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife.
...
"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.
I'm guessing the senior official is either Colin Powell or George Tenet, and I'd bet that whoever it was has testified before the grand jury.

Also, as The Next Hurrah notes, the U.S. Court of Appeals decision [PDF] agreeing with the DC District Court's decision that Cooper and Miller were in contempt of court, Miller's subpoenas sought (my emphasis):
documents and testimony related to conversations between her and a specified government official "occurring from on or about July 6, 2003, to on or about July 13, 2003,...concerning Valerie Plame Wilson (whether referred to by name or by description as the wife of Ambassador Wilson) or concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 PM on October 11, 2005


I am actually, physically going to cry if this turns out to be another Teflon opportunity for our current administration.
posted by klangklangston at 10:19 PM on October 11, 2005


I fear that the House will offer the old Congressional-immunity trap...
posted by Vidiot at 10:26 PM on October 11, 2005


Gee, it's awful quiet on the right side of the aisle in here. Where's the turd when this putrid administration needs his idiotic apologism more than ever?
posted by squirrel at 10:28 PM on October 11, 2005


My cup would runneth over if this investigation also encompassed WHIG's prewar activities and propaganda. Where did the damn yellowcake documents come from anyway?

Oh, and if Fitzgerald is tying up loose ends, I hope he gets their little dog too.

*gets ready to do the frog march victory dance with soyjoy*
posted by madamjujujive at 10:29 PM on October 11, 2005


I hope he gets their little dog too

Ah yes Jeff Gannon/James Guckert -- White House hustler/cock-sucker/butt-fucker ...
Joe Conason in Salon:
"Another intriguing possibility in the leaks case brings back the baroque personality of right-wing pressroom denizen Jeff Gannon, born James Guckert.

The New York Times reported Friday that in addition to possible charges directly involving the revelation of Valerie Wilson's identity and related perjury or conspiracy charges, Fitzgerald is exploring other possible crimes. Specifically, according to the Times, the special counsel is seeking to determine whether anyone transmitted classified material or information to persons who were not cleared to receive it -- which could be a felony under the 1917 Espionage Act.

One such classified item might be the still-classified State Department document, written by an official of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, concerning the CIA's decision to send former ambassador Joseph Wilson to look into allegations that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger. Someone leaked that INR document -- which inaccurately indicated that Wilson's assignment was the result of lobbying within CIA by his wife, Valerie -- to right-wing media outlets, notably including Gannon's former employers at Talon News. On Oct. 28, 2003, Gannon posted an interview with Joseph Wilson on the Talon Web site, in which he posed the following question: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"

Gannon later hinted, rather coyly, that he had learned about the INR memo from an article in the Wall Street Journal. He also told reporters last February that FBI agents working for Fitzgerald had questioned him about where he got the memo. At the very least, that can be interpreted as confirming today's Times report about the direction of the case."
posted by ericb at 10:41 PM on October 11, 2005


well, mjjj, don't forget the Plame/Gannon connection...though I doubt it'll be part of Fitzgerald's investigation.
posted by Vidiot at 10:41 PM on October 11, 2005


um, strike that last comment. 'Cause ericb did the work.
posted by Vidiot at 10:42 PM on October 11, 2005


I wish Hunter Thompson hadn't've killed himself when he did. He'd've been kneedeep in wet guts tearing holes with his teeth with all of this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:04 PM on October 11, 2005


From TPM:
If Karl Rove goes down in this investigation it'll be a disaster for the president, both in terms of the damage occasioned by such a high-level White House indictment and, frankly, because he needs the guy like most of us need legs.

But this WHIG thing is a whole 'nother level of hurt.

This group was the organizational team, the core group behind all the shameless crap that went down in the lead up to the Iraq war -- the lies about the cooked up Niger story, everything. If Fitzgerald has lassoed this operation into a criminal conspiracy, the veil of protective secrecy in which the whole operation is still shrouded will be pulled back. Depositions and sworn statements in on-going investigations have a way of doing that. Ask Bill Clinton. Every key person in the White House will be touched by it. And all sorts of ugly tales could spill out.
posted by Vidiot at 11:20 PM on October 11, 2005


The saga continues:
"Miller Must Testify (Again) to Grand Jury on Wednesday

After meeting again with the federal prosecutor in the Valerie Plame/CIA leak case Tuesday, New York Times reporter Judith Miller must testify again before the grand jury on Wednesday.

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, had summoned her for a talk on Tuesday after she recalled her previously unknown June 23, 2003 eeting with I. Lewis Libby, top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and sent the prosecutor the notes of the meeting. But it was not known if Fitzgerald would actually ask her to testify again. Now he has.

The news emerged in an e-mail sent by the Times' executive editor, Bill Keller, to staff this afternoon, which was obtained by E&P."
posted by ericb at 1:51 AM on October 12, 2005


"I wish Hunter Thompson hadn't've killed himself when he did. He'd've been kneedeep in wet guts..."

I'm sure he'd say that he's old and tired, and would want us to finally pick up the slack for him, if only this once.

I don't know about you, but I, for one, have plenty of vitriol and comtempt left, even after years of these kinds of outrages.

Ever vigilant, people. Let's not forget that if Clinton wasn't such a pathetic, slavering rat, who got on TV and lied straight to our faces, then tried to parse what the word "is" meant, then we wouldn't be here.

Washington D.C. is the toxic swamp where this nation's lies and hypocracies come together to mate and grow. Either your tolerance level for it is set at zero, or it's set at something unacceptable.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:07 AM on October 12, 2005


Ever vigilant, people. Let's not forget that if Clinton wasn't such a pathetic, slavering rat, who got on TV and lied straight to our faces, then tried to parse what the word "is" meant, then we wouldn't be here.

59 comments to blame clinton. Way too slow.
posted by srboisvert at 4:48 AM on October 12, 2005


Don't forget that to the Bushes, everyone else is just a servant--that includes Rove, Libby, and Cheney.
posted by amberglow at 6:14 AM on October 12, 2005


Ever vigilant, people. Let's not forget that if Ronald Reagan wasn't such a pathetic, slavering rat, who got on TV and lied straight to our faces.

Or was that Nixon, or perhaps Johnson, or...
posted by edgeways at 6:15 AM on October 12, 2005


"59 comments to blame clinton. Way too slow."

And to think I was the one to do it, too. ;-)

I'm not blaming Clinton for the Republicans being run by a bunch of corrupt greedhead cronies, or for courting bible thumpers and white racists as their core base.

I am, however, saying that all of our higher aspirations for a more ethical, prosperous, fair country were dashed because of Clinton lying to his country repeatedly. It wasn't his affair that gutted the Democratic party and opened the door to this new era of torture and corruption. It was the bigger lies that followed the smaller ones. It crippled his second term, tipped the balance in the House and Senate, and basically let big business interests, Likudnik neoconservatives, and bible-thumpers take power.

Keep in mind that what is being investigated in the Plame matter is what appars to have been a stupid, meanspirited political mistake. It probably didn't occur to the original leaker that Plame was a covert CIA operative.

I find it odd how anyone can suggest that government lies and coverups are okay, so long as they only involve sex. Government lies and coverups aren't okay. Period. End of story.

"Let's not forget that if Ronald Reagan wasn't such a pathetic, slavering rat, who got on TV and lied straight to our faces. Or was that Nixon, or perhaps Johnson, or..."

Yes. Let's not. That said, Johnson did nothing criminal, even though he did plenty to guarantee he wouldn't be reelected. Bush Sr., however, was apparently a party to the Iran-Contra affair, and would've been a more appropriate example.

In any case, you seem to be missing the point. The ethical standards we set for *all* of our presidents are too low.

We keep getting burned, complaining about it, but do nothing. Invariably, the corrupt politicians stay in power, while we, as Americans, get to watch the country spend years in a holding pattern because even though the rotting carcasses of these politicians may still reside in the White House, they've completely lost all credibility and can't do a damn thing to advance the cause of their country.

The point of having high standards of expectations is so we don't keep going down the wrong paths again. Why would we think, under such circumstances, that impeachments would really be so bad?

Better the corrupt lying war criminals that 30% of the country's total population voted for, rather than someone else?
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:35 AM on October 12, 2005


Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Reagan analogy is reeeeeally weak. A case could easily be made that the man was so bamboozled by his subordinates and so mentally feeble that he wasn't intentionally lying to America. Clinton knew exactly what he was doing and why - it was even part of his personality.

For extra credit, I'd put GWB somewhere between the two - he knows he's being deceptive, but he's too clueless/drug-addled to be able to parse the big picture and too inept to lie effectively.
posted by soyjoy at 7:45 AM on October 12, 2005


Now, look, I can't stand by while even the best-intentioned argument lumps the lies of Clinton and the lies of the Bush administration into one pile.

Clinton's lies were indeed wrong, and we should indeed hold all of our political representatives to a high standard, yet the scale and context of lies does indeed matter. Clinton lied in the context of what most would agree was an inappropriate, purely political witch hunt. He lied about a sexual relationship the same way that most Americans would. The Republican-led congress caught him by his pinky toe because there was no substance to the rest of their years-long investigation.

The Bush administration lied cynically, for personal gain, and at the expense of tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. These criminals deserve the death penalty for their treasonous abuses of federal power. Clinton should have never been investigated fishing-expiditon-style like he was; and the situation that created the opportunity/necessity for the lie he told should never have come about. The Bush administration created the context for the lies themselves after they decided to exploit 9-11 for their private corporate agenda.

Big difference between those two kinds of liars. Don't lump them together, because scale and context matter.
posted by squirrel at 10:44 AM on October 12, 2005


Senior Democrats Seek Assurances, Final Leak Investigation Report
"The ranking member on the House Permanent Committee on Select Intelligence along with other senior Democrats issued a letter today requesting that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald submit a final and public report on his two-year investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

The letter...requests 'assurance that, upon completion' of the investigation '[Fitzgerald] will submit a final public report to Congress of all indictments, convictions, and any decisions not to prosecute.' Normally, special prosecutors are required to submit a report to the U.S. Attorney General." [Raw Story | October 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on October 12, 2005


Fox News' Bill O’Reilly: “If Rove gets indicted, that could bring down the Bush administration.”
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on October 12, 2005


I prefer "Victoria's Secret" to "Plamegate". Carry on.
posted by Eekacat at 11:01 AM on October 12, 2005


Not something I'd have ever expected Bill O'Reilly to say. Wow.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:14 AM on October 12, 2005


Big difference between those two kinds of liars. Don't lump them together, because scale and context matter.

I agree 100%, but I'm still holding a grudge against Clinton. His petty (and futile) dissembling gives the New Red Fascists a very convenient and prominent strawman that they use at every opportunity to deflect criticism of their own leaders. In that sense, all the jawing about "the dignity of the office" did have some validity.

But of course, Bush's outright lies have led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocents, and I'm never forgiving the Republicans for that.

Not something I'd have ever expected Bill O'Reilly to say. Wow.

The warmongering modern fanatic "conservative" movement will not be over when Bush is out of office. Certain people have been accruing influence for twenty years, and they'll send Bush down in flames if it keeps their amoral ideology going.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:37 AM on October 12, 2005


But then again, what's gonna come next? New Ford, new Carter, malaise, new Republican telling us everything's gonna be fine...
posted by klangklangston at 5:28 AM GMT on October 12


Well, y'know, history doesn't _have_ to repeat itself...
posted by dash_slot- at 12:11 PM on October 12, 2005


Let's not forget the real fundemental cause for ALL of this.

The US's oil addiction distorts everything - politics, economics, international trade, Israel-Palestine-terrorism, climate change, urban development... etc.

Have we any idea what needs to be done to change this?

How would a post-oil future change US politics, and the rest of us, too?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2005


David Ignatius today on the Republicans. Coming from Dionne or Meyerson, I wouldn't blink. But this is telling.
posted by bardic at 1:23 PM on October 12, 2005


The pressure seems to be getting to Bush:
The fidgeting clearly corresponded to the questioning. When [tough interrogator Matt] Lauer asked if Bush, after a slow response to Katrina, was "trying to get a second chance to make a good first impression," Bush blinked 24 times in his answer. When asked why Gulf Coast residents would have to pay back funds but Iraqis would not, Bush blinked 23 times and hitched his trousers up by the belt.

When the questioning turned to Miers, Bush blinked 37 times in a single answer -- along with a lick of the lips, three weight shifts and some serious foot jiggling.
"You're doing a great job, Blinky!"
posted by kirkaracha at 1:33 PM on October 12, 2005


zoogleplex writes "Not something I'd have ever expected Bill O'Reilly to say. Wow."

I vaguely remember a saying about rats desertig a sinking ship.
posted by clevershark at 1:58 PM on October 12, 2005


What squirrel said.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:19 PM on October 12, 2005



I find it odd how anyone can suggest that government lies and coverups are okay, so long as they only involve sex. Government lies and coverups aren't okay. Period. End of story.


I find it odd that anybody cares what sort of sex our elected officials have, or feels that asking about it is appropriate.

If the Democrats put Bush under oath, then asked him if he had an affair with Jeff Gannon I'd be ashamed of the Democrats, not of any lies that might result.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:38 PM on October 12, 2005


Ouch!

Bush Approval Dips Below 40 Percent
"For the first time in the [NBC-Wall Street Journal] poll, Bush’s approval rating has sunk below 40 percent, while the percentage believing the country is heading in the right direction has dipped below 30 percent [to 28%]. In addition, a sizable plurality prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress, and just 29 percent think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court."
posted by ericb at 3:59 PM on October 12, 2005


That's like the tenth poll to have him under 40. He's toast.
posted by amberglow at 4:04 PM on October 12, 2005


(and even more dangerous without Rove and Cheney)
posted by amberglow at 4:04 PM on October 12, 2005


Even if this inidctment/conviction falls through, the neocons have suffered a brutal, public, loss of credability. It has been so gratuitous, that it won't be compltely forgotten by next November. Who knows, the Dems could retake the house or, more likely, the senate.

One scary and sad thought: what are the Democrats going to do when they get the house back? I mean, they don't even have their stop-the-Bush-machine routine worked out, let alone have a master plan that's going to steer us into smooth waters and prosperity.

Still, that's a concern that I accept, and that I will table for another day... because tonight is a night of celebration.
posted by squirrel at 6:07 PM on October 12, 2005


Sorry for the spelling errors. Started celebrating a little early.
posted by squirrel at 6:08 PM on October 12, 2005


The Dems in majority won't be much better. The poor will still be getting screwed to the wall, you will all still be hooped when it comes to healthcare, you'll still have a multibajillion dollar deficit, and your empire will still come tumbling down.

The USA is screwed until it finds the wherewithal to reform its federal government. Part of that will involve coming up with a viable new third party that is far more humanitarian than the two clones you have now.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:17 PM on October 12, 2005


And by humanitarian, I mean humane within its borders. America needs to start looking after its own first.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:18 PM on October 12, 2005


Those are symptoms of a larger problem America faces, f3. You're defnitely right that federal America has turned its back on the working and lower classes. The Dems, with their baroque labrynths of leeching crony beurocracy, are in their own way nearly as bad as the direct, cut-throat, inept neocons. The reas disease of the globalization of labor. Until that is addressed, the situation will continue to degrade.
posted by squirrel at 6:42 PM on October 12, 2005


Blaming it on globalisation does not wash. Every other G8 nation has to face the same thing, but all but America manage to swing things as fundamental as public health care, welface, unemployment insurance, job skills training, public radio and television, and all that good jazz at a generally adequate level.

I know full well that y'all can point at specific situations where people have accessed all that in the USA but that would ignore the overall truth: the US Government is failing far too many of its own citizens.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2005


No argument from me on that point.
posted by squirrel at 11:26 PM on October 12, 2005


It's not failing the very wealthy ones, and that's why we get screwed out of all those things that the other G8 nations do so well at.

The wealth gap here compared to France, England, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the rest is appallingly large.

Basically right now, if you work for a living, you are not wealthy, no matter what your income is, up to about $1 million/year. I think the dividing point is more like you make $10 million/year solely from investments and income from stuff you own - not working a job at all.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:42 PM on October 12, 2005


People, people, you're drifting wayyyyyy off topic. Could we please have less reasoned analysis of the economic backdrop to US imerialistic hubris and more wild, carefree speculation?

Thank you.
posted by soyjoy at 7:20 AM on October 13, 2005


The fuckers are gonna burn!
posted by squirrel at 9:11 AM on October 13, 2005


That's more like it. Thanks.
posted by soyjoy at 6:47 PM on October 13, 2005


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