Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dark Clouds Over the White House

Dark Clouds Over the White House
Patrick J. Fitzgerald lets the cat out of the bag

The conventional wisdom about the alleged motive for revealing Plame's CIA connection is that this information was supposed to somehow discredit Wilson's contention that there was no evidence of an Iraqi attempt to procure uranium from Niger. After all, he had gone on a "junket" – as the Vice President put it – arranged by his wife, and the whole thing was an example of "nepotism." Well, uh, maybe, but how does that discredit his conclusions? And what a junky "junket" an all-expenses paid trip to Niger is! If you're going to go junketing, I say, do it in Buenos Aires, or perhaps someplace in Europe. But Niger?

"To them," Fitzgerald said, "[Plame] wasn't a person, she was an argument." By "them," clearly, Fitz means Libby and his boss, and that's always been what this case has been about: that "something bigger" is the Vice President of the United States. In his summation, Fitz made a point of implicating Cheney by chiding Libby for conferring with his boss while the investigation was still in its early stages:

"He's not supposed to be talking to other people. The only person he told is the vice president. … Think about that."

But what crimes, aside from concocting a cover story with his top aide, is he guilty of? Surely not just obstructing justice.

We are told that Cheney-Libby et al were so enraged by Wilson's accusation that the administration had fabricated "evidence" of Iraqi WMD that they outed Plame as a retaliatory measure against her husband. But surely this seems like an over-reaction. After all, it is a serious crime to expose a CIA agent, especially one in such a sensitive position as Ms. Plame apparently was – heading up the Agency's counterproliferation unit, concerned with tracking down and presumably neutralizing loose nukes that could conceivably be used in a terrorist strike at the U.S. Her specialty, we are told, is Iran.

When Plame was exposed, it was a death-blow to the entire overseas operation run out of "Brewster-Jennings," a "consulting company" that was in reality a CIA front. All the people she met with in her travels abroad were immediately endangered. A key component of our ability to detect dangers to the U.S. was taken out. And the Vice President of the United States had a hand in it.
The Libby trial was a dress rehearsal for the main event: the trial of the vice president, and, perhaps, a number of others in his office. The other shoe, as they say, has yet to drop – but if and when it does it is going to demolish the main headquarters of the War Party – or, at least, that part of it that's in the government – and the sound of the crash is going to reverberate from one end of the planet to the other.

Dark clouds are hanging over this White House – but, take heart, because the winds of change are blowing.

fingers crossed.

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