Fall Is In The Air


Cheney reportedly told Libby about Plame, Times reports



The sphinxters tighten: Above, the Bush’s regime’s Mount Rushmore. Tonight’s Times story raises a question concerning the blockheads on the right and left above Bush: Did the blockhead on the right tell his top aide about Valerie Plame? Below, the real Mount Rushmore during a Bush visit in October 2002.
White House

Dick Cheney likes to portray himself as Mr. Rugged Westerner, unafraid to sacrifice others in the pursuit of mineral wealth. I know the Bush regime has been to Mount Rushmore (see photo), but has Cheney himself ever been to the site of the Frank Slide in western Alberta?

Thoughts of that incredible disaster — a chunk of mountain 1,400 feet high, 3,280 feet wide, and 500 feet deep fell in 100 seconds on a mining town, almost exactly 100 years before Plamegate started rumbling — come to mind now that the New York Times reports tonight that Scooter Libby learned about Valerie Plame not from a reporter but from the Bush regime’s CEO.

Uh-oh, someone appears to have lied. Start the presses. Here are the first two paragraphs of the story by David Johnston, Richard W. Stevenson, and Douglas Jehl:

I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby’s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

The story’s believable — Judy Miller‘s byline isn’t on it. And this is the kind of material that made 1973 such a memorable year. Way back then, something new about Watergate popped up nearly every day. Now, though, things seem to happen more quickly, because the entire world is on a 24/7 news cycle, thanks to the Internet. The part of this that reminds me of similarly historic moments from the unfolding of Watergate is what comes next in tonight’s story:

The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration’s handling of intelligence about Iraq’s nuclear program to justify the war.

Lawyers said the notes show that Mr. Cheney knew that Ms. Wilson worked at the C.I.A. more than a month before her identity was made public and her undercover status was disclosed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003.

And then it turns out that, according to the Times, Cheney got his info about Plame (call her Wilson if you want, but “Wilsongate” doesn’t do anything for me) from Medal of Freedom winner George Tenet. Hoo-boy.

I can’t help but think of Seldom Seen Smith praying for one little ol’ pree-cision earthquake. Perversely, that may be our best chance to finally start saving lives instead of bombing people into rubble in Iraq.

Bush and his handlers are no doubt praying right now, but they don’t need any help from above. They need protection from what’s about to tumble down on top of them. Maybe Don Rumsfeld ought to divert some of the aid meant for Pakistani quake victims to the White House.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal diverted resources for its own schemes. Remember the search for Osama bin Laden? The one that was slowed to a crawl so the cabal could invade Iraq?