a one note ear worm…

Posted on Monday 26 November 2007

It was a good Thanksgiving. Relatives came and went. Parties happened. Turkeys got cooked. We even had rain. In North Georgia that’s something to be thankful about. But on the side of my mind, Scott McClellan’s book teaser played over and over:
The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself.
I know the reservations. Dana Perino, McClellan’s second generation replacement is out there saying the same things McClellan said.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said it wasn’t clear what McClellan meant in the excerpt. "The president has not and would not ask his spokespeople to pass on false information," she said.
Here comes the "spin." President Bush was involved in telling Scott McClellan that Rove and Libby were not involved, but at the time, the President didn’t know that they were involved. From the Bush White House, there’s always "spin" – some careful parsing that makes the last lie they told not, in their estimation, a lie. For example, Rove said "I did not leak her name…" Right. He said "Wilson’s wife," instead – not using her actual name. So they’ll slide around whatever McClellan’s book says. But there’s the note Cheney scribbled on Libby’s requests for a public exoneration equal to the one given for Karl Rove, "Not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy the pres that was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others." What he meant to write is clear as a bell:
"Not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy the pres asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others."
Their mythology is that President Bush, while living in the White House, knows nothing of what goes on in there. While that’s a stinging indictment in and of itself, it’s increasing apparent that it’s not true. The President asked Scooter Libby to stick his head "in the meat grinder." What else can Cheney’s note mean? Cheney is saying, Bush can’t just protect Karl Rove, his alter-ego. He’s got to protect Cheney’s get-er-done guy, Scooter Libby, as well. This is a rare instance where the non-memo-writing Vice President slipped up and put it on paper.

I get "ear worms" – those songs that play over and over in my mind. It drives me nuts, but the song choice always means something. This holiday, it was the Dylan song "Blowin in the Wind."
How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind
The story of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson means something specific – something very big and very horrible. "How many times" will we have to hear it and say it before that meaning finally sinks in? The founder of the Greek School of Skeptics said there is no absolute truth, only relative approximations that get closer and closer. This story is mighty close – close enough. That one note up there says it out loud.
And what does "… because of the incompetence of others" mean? I suppose that it could mean that anything that goes wrong is, in Cheney’s eyes, caused by the incompetence of others – never his own. But it shows how distorted his thinking really is. Did he think that he could actually cover up something like leaking Plame’s identity? His motive was so strong that there were no other suspects. It was like those husbands in troubled marriages, having affairs, who suddenly report their wives have gone "missing." It’s just a matter of time before some detective finds the body and is able to connect the dots. With Treasongate, the dots are connected. While Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence effectively removed the pressure on Scooter Libby to come clean and Rove is off playing cherub as a Newsweek political analyst, this story continues to haunt the front page.

A chronic criminal once told me, "You people are so lucky that we’re so damn dumb. When I plan a job, it’s fool-proof. No way I’ll ever get caught. But I always do. What’s wrong with me is that I’m so arrogant, so special, so brilliant, that I always think that I can get away with it." That’s Cheney’s Achilles Heel – his conviction that he’s above the law. He thinks this song will go away, but it just keeps playing over and over…
    November 27, 2007 | 5:38 AM

    Since you are on this subject, there is an article in smirkingchimp.com “The Bush Rules of Evidence” by Robert Parry where the author talks about Plamegate etc.

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