Category Archives: Plame Case

Bush Blogs

On Scooter (Via Open Left)

He’s Got a Point

Dan Wasserman


Is Michael Kinsley Really That Stupid?

Probably not, but his latest column does illustrate perfectly how otherwise intelligent liberals can get trapped into saying incredibly stoopid things.

One of the characteristics that sets liberals and progressives apart from conservatives and of which we are most proud is our willingness to listen. Being a conservative means never having to say you’re sorry, never having to admit you’re wrong about anything no matter what the facts say, and never again having to actually listen to anybody who disagrees with you. You just memorize a few of the standard slogans and shout them as loud as you can, loud enough to drown out critics – and facts. It’s easy.

Left-wingers, otoh, have taken a blood oath of fairness, and they’re just as rigid about its application as conservatives are in despising it. Lefties will listen to anyone with respect, even if they are obviously raving lunatics frothing at the mouth and falling over backwards. And not just listen, mind you, but try to understand their point of view.

It’s all very fair and balanced but it can lead to precisely the same disregard of the truth as he said/she said journalism when you bend over so far to be “fair” that you give the same weight to a lie as a fact just because it comes out of your opponent’s mouth. For instance, Kinsley claims that Libby’s trial came about through a “perjury trap” similar to the one Ken Starr used on Bill Clinton.

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They’re All Scooters Now

Tom Toles


Tony Snow Defends the “Commutation”

If Bush’s pardon “commutation” of Libby’s sentence did nothing else, it seems to have awakened our sleeping press corps for a moment or two. In a contentious press briefing yesterday, Tony Snow unsuccessfully tried to dance a tightrope under a barrage of questions that were insistent and even incredulous. The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank compared his performance to Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwock.

Logic suffered a…serious challenge when Bush press secretary Tony Snow, in his briefing, made the following points about Libby’s case:

· That Bush wasn’t “granting a favor to anyone” but that the case got his “special handling.”

· That it was not done for “political reasons” even though “it was political.”

· That it was handled “in a routine manner,” yet it was also “an extraordinary case.”

· That “we are not going to make comments” on the case, even though Bush had already issued a 655-word statement commenting on the case.

And if that makes sense to you, beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch.

“You’re insulting our intelligence,” one of the reporters advised Snow.

“How can you stand there with a straight face?” queried CBS News’s Bill Plante.

Good question.

I’m including a video so that those of you who came of age after 1985 can see what the press used to be like before Ronald Reagan used his Everybody’s Granpaw image to turn them into weenies. There was a time once in the dim and distant past of legend and song when contentious briefings like this were standard, not isolated incidents fueled by outrageous political twisting of the justice system.

Now, if only they’d treat Bush himself with a similar unwillingness to accept transparent rationalizations and pretzel logic, we might actually consider that we’re getting somewhere.


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Bush “Commutes” Libby’s Sentence to Zero (2 Updates)

As predicted by almost everyone, including me, Scooter will not spend a single day in jail.

President Bush commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby yesterday, sparing Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff 2 1/2 years in prison after a federal appeals court had refused to let Libby remain free while he appeals his conviction for lying to federal investigators.

Bush, who for months had sidestepped calls from conservatives to come to Libby’s aid, broke his silence early yesterday evening, touching off an immediate uproar from Democrats who accused the White House of circumventing the rule of law to protect one of its own.

The president announced his decision in a written statement that laid out the factors he had weighed. Bush said he decided to “respect” the jury’s verdict that Libby was guilty of four felonies for lying about his role in the leak of a covert CIA officer’s identity. But the president said Libby’s “exceptional public service” and prior lack of a criminal record led him to conclude that the 30-month sentence handed down by a judge last month was “excessive.”

“Excessive”. For protecting the people who blew an undercover agent’s status and career by lying and destroying evidence, 2 1/2 yrs – out in a year or so on parole – was “excessive”. And this from the man who laughed about signing death sentences in Texas – 152 of them – the leader of a so-called “law-and-order” party.

Zero jail time and two years’ probation for the man who covered up for traitors. I guess we know now that to Bush and the rest of the GOP, “law and order” is just the title of a tv show.

Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University who is an expert on federal criminal sentencing policies, said it is “hypocritical and appalling from a president whose Justice Department is always fighting” attempts by judges and lawmakers to lower the punishment called for under federal sentencing guidelines. Berman said Bush’s message amounted to “My friend Scooter shouldn’t have to serve 30 months in prison because I don’t want him to.”

That about sums it up.

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Cheney Lawyers Claim “Absolute Immunity” in Plame Suit

In case you thought it did, the Plame Case hasn’t gone away. Buried beneath the unsurprising news that the Bush Administration’s political office (read: Karl Rove) originally wanted to fire not 9 USA’s but 30 and that Paul Wolfowitz is out after gaming the system for his girlfriend and doing absolutely nothing he promised to do when he was hired (corruption and broken promises being the hallmark of neoconservatives everywhere), the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame lawsuit filed against Li’l Dick, Scooter, MC Rove, and Dick Armitage is actually in court. Sort of.

Led by SCOTUS Judge Sam Alito’s former law clerk and current Dep Asst AG in Gonzo’s civil division, Jeffrey Bucholtz, govt lawyers went before U.S. District Judge John D. Bates and asked him to dismiss the case. Their reason for dismissal? Pure D-for-Dick “Unitary Presidency” Cheney:

[A]ny conversations Cheney and the officials had about Plame with one another or with reporters were part of their normal duties because they were discussing foreign policy and engaging in an appropriate “policy dispute.” Cheney’s attorney went further, arguing that Cheney is legally akin to the president because of his unique government role and has absolute immunity from any lawsuit.

(emphasis added)

The judge, who apparently wasn’t sure he was hearing right, wanted to make certain he understood what they were saying.

“So you’re arguing there is nothing — absolutely nothing — these officials could have said to reporters that would have been beyond the scope of their employment,” whether the statements were true or false?

“That’s true, Your Honor. Mr. Wilson was criticizing government policy,” said Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division. “These officials were responding to that criticism.”

Now, before I go on I have to note that asking for a dismissal is a standard defense tactic nowadays, and that many defense lawyers will do it, especially in high-profile cases, even if they don’t think they’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the argument. That, in turn, has led to them often coming up with some pretty creative legal grounds for the dismissal that have little to do with legal precedent and everything to do with desperation. There was, for instance, the famous example of a lawyer who claimed that one of her cases should be dismissed because a proper defense would require her to call the plaintiff’s dog to the witness stand.

This might be one of those “It sucks but this is the best we’ve got” arguments, but I don’t think so. Continue reading

Libby, Doan, and Sampson: Systemic Firewalls?

The key to understanding Kyle Sampson’s testimony yesterday is this:

For all the nonsense being written in the MSM about his “dramatic” appearance contradicting – or “challenging” as the WaPo’s Dan Egger has it – Gonzo’s pathetic attempt to pretend he knew nothing about all this attorney-firing business, the plain fact is that Sampson gave the Committee absolutely nothing it didn’t already have. Every opportunity he had to expand the Committee’s knowledge about the process – who said what, when they said it, who they said it to, etc – Sampson rejected with the litany we have come to know so well from all the Bushies:

“I don’t know.”

“I can’t remember.”

“It wasn’t my job.”

Dana Milbank is much closer to the truth of it when he points out:

Sampson seemed content to fall on his sword rather than naming names when he was questioned about the prosecutor mess. Only the red felt on the witness table concealed the blood. “I could have and should have helped to prevent this,” Sampson offered. “I let the attorney general and the department down. . . . I failed to organize a more effective response. . . . It was a failure on my part. . . . I will hold myself responsible. . . . I wish we could do it all over again.”

The witness fessed up to an expanding list of sins. He admitted that the Justice Department was trying to circumvent the Senate confirmation process. He confessed that he proposed firing Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the Valerie Plame leak case. “I regretted it,” he explained. “I knew that it was the wrong thing to do.”

But this blood-letting was severely confined, a pin-prick rather than a deep incision. Continue reading

The Truth Can Be Dangerous If You Work For the Bush Administration

Tony Pugh of Knight-Ridder reports that Richard Foster, the BA’s top expert on Medicare costs, was told he’d be fired if he revealed the actual price of the drug benefit.

When the House of Representatives passed the controversial benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months the administration’s own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that.Withholding the higher cost projections was important because the White House was facing a revolt from 13 conservative House Republicans who’d vowed to vote against the Medicare drug bill if it cost more than $400 billion.

Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, one of the 13 Republicans, said she was “very upset” when she learned of the higher estimate.

“I think a lot of people probably would have reconsidered (voting for the bill) because we said that $400 billion was our top of the line,” Myrick said.

Five months before the November House vote, the government’s chief Medicare actuary had estimated that a similar plan the Senate was considering would cost $551 billion over 10 years. Two months after Congress approved the new benefit, White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten disclosed that he expected it to cost $534 billion. (emphasis added)

So not only did the BA knowingly lie about the cost, they threatened to fire anyone who knew what the real cost was and said so publicly. This, campers, is what is known in legal parlance as a “cover-up”. It’s also intimidation. But here’s the horror: there’s nothing new about this. It’s SOP for the BA. The Center for American Progress has been keeping track of such cases, and the list is intriguing.

***Larry Lindsey, WH budget advisor, was fired when he said the Second Gulf War would cost $200B. After a year, and no end in sight, we are at over $100B and climbing.

***When Gen Anthony Zinni (see Kiatkowski’s Salon article; scroll down to “The New Pentagon Papers”), who was Junior’s Mid-East negotiator at the time, said the Second Gulf War would take longer and be harder to resolve than Rumsfeld’s rosy scenario would lead one to believe, he was dropped from the team.

***If you’re wondering where that anonymous soldier quoted in Intervention Magazine (scroll down to “American Soldiers Refused Thanksgiving Dinner…”) got the idea that military freedom of speech was only allowed to Bush supporters, here’s where: Gen John Abizaid, Bush-appointed commander of the forces in Iraq. Gen Abizaid declared, “None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defense, or the president of the United States. Whatever action may be taken, whether it’s a verbal reprimand or something more stringent, is up to the commanders on the scene.” (emphasis added) Here’s a guy who’s trying to shut the whole damn Army up. Free speech and turkey dinners for Bush supporters, reprimands or the brig for Bush opponents.

***When ABC News reporter Jeffrey Kofman put soldiers in Iraq on the air talking about how the equipment the BA had promised (boots, night-vison goggles, flak-jackets, etc) never arrived and that they had to buy their own and weren’t too thrilled about it, somebody from Rove’s WH Communications Dept tipped Matt Drudge that Kofman was gay.

***When Junior got nailed after the SOTU for claiming that the CIA told him that Saddam was trying to buy nukes when what they had actually said was that there wasn’t any evidence to support that supposition, Bush and Condi Rice promptly blamed CIA “intelligence failures” for their cooked conclusions, and off-the-record “administration sources” started talking about firing Tenet or forcing his resignation.

***And of course we all know what happened to Joe Wilson when he said he had told the Admin weeks before they used them to justify the war that the Niger documents were forgeries–and obvious forgeries at that: somebody in the BA (the investigation is centering on Scooter Libby and John Hannah in Veep Cheney’s office) outed his covert-op wife to Bob Novak, blowing her cover and causing her to be removed from her assignment–tracking WMD’s.

It’s an impressive list: a former ambassador, a couple of Generals, the entire CIA, the entire occupation Army in Iraq, and two top-level advisors. And these are just the ones we know about. The FBI investigation of the Plame leak is picking up stories about how frightened everyone in the WH was of Rove, some reporters who complained that WH restrictions in press conferences were leading to scripted sessions were reprimanded or removed from the Washington beat when Dan Bartlett denied their press credentials, CIA analysts said that Cheney’s frequent visits to berate them for not going along with the bogus information Chalabi was “supplying” (read: “inventing”) convinced them to keep their mouths shut, and so on.

There’s a pattern here. Recognize it? If you don’t, then you’ve likely never worked in a big corporation because it’s SOP for corporate execs. Disagree with the Boss and suddenly you’re posted to the Outer Aleutians. Point out an obvious fallacy or weakness in the Boss’ plan and shortly after that find you’re branded as “negative” and “not a team player” and all your assignments are going to somebody who said in that same meeting that he thought the Boss was a genius. Talk to the press without permission and the next day you’re shit-canned no matter how positive what you said was. I personally know of the case of a man who was ordered to talk to the press at a press party arranged by his company and still got fired because he talked to a reporter who wasn’t on the company’s list–a list he didn’t know existed because no one had ever shown it to him. And this despite the fact that everything he said to her was stuff he had been saying all day.

Get the picture? This is what comes of taking inexperienced corporate honchos who don’t believe that anything they say or do should ever be questioned by anyone and putting them in positions of power in govt where questionable policies need to be questioned: they just can’t stand it. They freak when they aren’t obeyed instantly. They want to exact the kind of revenge they’ve always been able to exact on subordinates at home. They throw hissy-fits and toss threats around like Christmas cookies.

Corporate executives don’t believe they should be accountable to anyone, least of all their subordinates or customers (you should hear what these guys say to each other in private about what stupid, annoying, pains-in-the-ass their customers are; it would be an education). So let this be a lesson to us:

NO MORE CORPORATE CEO’S IN GOVERNMENT. PERIOD. Really, they’re not worth the aggrevation they cause.

The Plame Flame Burns Brighter

Josh Marshall links to a Murray Waas article at The American Prospect on the Plame investigation. Waas says Rove has actually admitted some involvement, though he claims it was after Novak’s column appeared.

President Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel’s investigation of the matter.But Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak’s column.

Weak, Karl, very weak. That’s a very risky game you’re playing. Of course, Karl isn’t used to being someone who has to answer questions. Normally he issues orders that he doesn’t allow to be questioned. This must be a new experience for him and he hasn’t caught on yet because in his very next breath, practically, he defends the security breach on political grounds:

He also told the FBI, the same sources said, that circulating the information was a legitimate means to counter what he claimed was politically motivated criticism of the Bush administration by Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Uh-huh. Wilson’s apolitical debunking of a favorite neocon fantasy by simply telling the truth is, in Karl’s world, an attempt to sabotage the Bush Admin. But then, everything is political to Karl. He ran a WH where policy was determined by political considerations. In fact, Rove and other BA officials painted a picture for the FBI of just how political the WH was:

Rove and other White House officials described to the FBI what sources characterized as an aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife to the press, utilizing proxies such as conservative interest groups and the Republican National Committee to achieve those ends, and distributing talking points to allies of the administration on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Rove is said to have named at least six other administration officials who were involved in the effort to discredit Wilson.

But of course this was all after Novak’s column. Yeah, right, and if you believe that, I’ve got the entire country of Costa Rica stashed under my desk and I’ll let you have it for $3 and a dozen eggs.

What Rove described is what we call The Mighty Wurlitzer–the engine of right-wing propaganda that conservatives have consistently ridiculed as a “liberal conspiracy theory.” Well, thanks, Karl. It’s a “theory” no longer. If it does nothing else, the Plame investigation is going to lay bare the machinery running the right-wing puppets who said it didn’t exist. Way to go, guys.

Plame Flame Burns Brighter

In today’s NYT, a mildly interesting report on the progress of the Plame Investigation claims that there’s proof that the WH was truly pissed off by Wilson’s article.

The lawyers said that prosecutors have cited evidence that White House officials were extremely upset by Mr. Wilson’s article and were angry at the C.I.A. for sending him to Africa, in contrast to the White House’s effort to portray the reaction as only mildly concerned.

This isn’t going to come as much of a surprise to anybody who was paying attention when this first exploded a few months ago. What is interesting is how much of it is swirling around the higher levels of WH staff. Press Secretary Scott McClellan and his aide Adam Levine have both been questioned by the grand jury, and the bulk of the investigation is centered on Veep Cheney’s office–John Hannah and VP Chief-of-Staff Scooter Libby have been mentioned as targets, and VP press secretary Catherine Martin’s cellphone records are being examined. Somebody is apparently actually taking the investigation seriously, and I admit that is something of a surprise.

The word on Patrick Fitzgerald, the US Attorney for Chicago who was appointed to head the investigation when Ashcroft recused himself, was that he had a rep as a tough guy who was careful but conscientious and followed evidence wherever it went without regard for political ramifications. I had my doubts (they said virtually the same things about Kenneth Starr when he was appointed SP on the Whitewater case, and it turned out to be all lies; Starr’s real record was as a political op whose legal history was about as partisan as it could have been) but maybe it was true after all. The investigation is being pursued along the lines it should be–for a change–instead of being limited to examinations of unproductive, low-level potential scapegoats who likely didn’t know much but also didn’t have the influence to block prosecutors from getting their records.

The real culprit may be revealed in spite of all my cynical doubts. Dare I hope?

Sidelight: The source(s) of this story is (are) identified in pretty confusing language as “lawyers on the case.” Now what the hell does that mean? Whose lawyers? JD lawyers? Defendants’ lawyers? Witness’ lawyers? Fitzgerald’s prosecuting lawyers? All of the above?

I take the report as accurate because what it says makes sense and is in line with other reports on the investigation’s progress, but the vague sourcing is frustrating. I’m not asking Johnston for names but is it too much to ask him to tell us whose side they’re on so we know what their prejudices might be?

The Plame Wars

According to Richard Sale, a UPI reporter on intelligence matters writing on Jim Hightower’s Weblog, investigators claim they now have “hard evidence” that two members of VP Cheney’s staff were involved in the leak.

Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney’s office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer’s identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, were the two Cheney employees. “We believe that Hannah was the major player in this,” one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president’s office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.

The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah “that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time” as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said.

Oops. I told you this wasn’t going away.

Dean on Plame

John Dean’s column on FindLaw is an excellent summation of the Plame Affair and the potential legal trouble it could portend for the WH. It’s a bit lawyerly, though not at all unreadably so, in the sense that it follows the sequence of events closely and ties them together so the pattern is clear. For that reason, I can’t excerpt and do it justice, as each piece gathers force in the context of the pieces in front of and behind it, but his conclusion is a bit startling: rather than seizing on the law which makes it a crime to publish the name(s) of serving ops (the so-called “Philip Agee Law”) as everyone else has, Dean suggests that the WH’s biggest danger may lie in the conspiracy statutes, particularly those concerned with fraud:

Most likely, in this instance the conspiracy would be a conspiracy to defraud – for the broad federal fraud statute, too, may apply here. If two federal government employees agree to undertake actions that are not within the scope of their employment, they can be found guilty of defrauding the U.S. by depriving it of the “faithful and honest services of its employee.” It is difficult to imagine that President Bush is going to say he hired anyone to call reporters to wreak more havoc on Valerie Plame. Thus, anyone who did so – or helped another to do so – was acting outside the scope of his or her employment, and may be open to a fraud prosecution.What counts as “fraud” under the statute? Simply put, “any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing, or defeating the lawful function of any department of government.” (Emphasis added.) If telephoning reporters to further destroy a CIA asset whose identity has been revealed, and whose safety is now in jeopardy, does not fit this description, I would be quite surprised.

If Newsweek is correct that Karl Rove declared Valerie Plame Wilson “fair game,” then he should make sure he’s got a good criminal lawyer, for he made need one. I’ve only suggested the most obvious criminal statute that might come into play for those who exploit the leak of a CIA asset’s identity. There are others.

So merely condoning the leak could make Rove part of the “conspiracy” to exploit it, and legally it doesn’t matter in that instance whether he was the one who made the calls or not. In fact, everybody who played any part in this, their ass is up for grabs, too, if they didn’t speak out against it.

That’s the genius of this law–it puts everybody involved into a race to see who can “out” the perp first, thus c’ing their own a’s by aiding the investigation.

I think Dean may be right. Karl. Baby. Got a reall-ly good criminal lawyer yet?

The Intelligence War: Tenet and Plame

It seems to me that the most important question in the Plame Affair is the one nobody’s asking:

What does George Tenet want?

As the point man for what is quickly becoming (now that the DIA is involved) a war between the Bush Administration and the Intelligence Community, Tenet is the one controlling the pace and content of the IC counterattack, and he will be the one to call the end. There is more than enough material in his files–never mind the DIA’s, the DID’s, NI’s, and the NSA’s, to mention a few of his most likely allies–to keep the Bushies off-balance and on the defensive well into the campaign season. Hell, there’s probably enough there to sink Buish’s campaign altogether if it ever got out. The truth about 9/11 alone would end Junior’s candidacy and maybe get him impeached.

So: What does George Tenet want?

Clearly the unprecedented and callous outing of a serving covert op for no reason more compelling than pique must be avenged. To let it stand would destroy the morale of an agency that has only recently begun to feel pride in what it does, but worse, make the running of current and future agents extremely difficult. Once an undercover op is compromised by her own people, all others in the same position get very cautious, not just with their targets but with their handlers. There’s a lack of trust, and in intelligence there is nothing deadlier than not trusting your own people. Just ask those who lived through the insanity of the Angleton years.

So Tenet is fighting back. The request to the JD was the first shot. Since then, allies in the DIA have released damaging evidence that Bush favorite and Neocon Pinup Boy Ahmad Chalabi and his followers in the Iraqi National Congress were nothing but frauds, their information–the Niger deal that never was, the “death planes” of biochemical weapons aimed at America that turned out to be made of balsa wood and have a range shorter than your average glider, the immense bio-weapons “stockpile” that turned out to be a single vial of botulinus that had been sitting in a scientist’s refridgerator since 1993, and so on and so on–was in almost every case either totally bogus or a grain of truth pushed so far past the bonds of reality as to be more fantasy than fact. IOW, worthless.

What they have NOT yet said–but could, and it would be true, and the Bushies know it–is that the principal figures in the Admin were told all this almost as soon as Chalabi made himself available to them (which he did in lieu of going to prison in Jordan for fraud and embezzlement, his only other option at the time), by various intelligence agencies, including CIA and DIA, and that said Admin figures ignored it. In fact, they promoted little stock-swindling Ahmad to Freedom-Fighter Extraordinaire and gave him a lot of money to develop intelligence in Iraq because they didn’t trust the IC’s info, given that it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

At a minimum, what the IC has up its sleeve is proof of the systematic rejection of IC information by key members of the Bush Team–Cheney in particular, but right up there with him were Wolfie, Rice, Perle, Libby, Woolsey, Rumsfeld, and of course, Georgie-boy–in critical areas like their persistent warnings of an attack by Al Qaeda in the weeks before 9/11 that the Bushies ignored, their accurate estimates of Hussein’s capability–or lack of it–to deliver on any of his threats that the Bushies likewise ignored, and so on. They could, and can, if they want to, pile it on until the Adminstration is getting tossed around by a feeding-frenzied press like a toy boat in a hurricane.

Before that happens, the Bushies will be waving some sort of white flag and making peace offerings of sacrificial lambs and whatnot.

So: What does George Tenet want?

Karl Rove’s head on a stick? Libby dragged naked through the streets of DC by a team of wild horses? Wilkinson and Eskew quartered like steers and sold for Big Mac’s? What level of payment will Tenet consider sufficient to cover his losses?

And the 2nd Big Question: Will Bush be willing to pay it?

I haven’t been this intrigued by a burgeoning national soap opera since Nixon dismissed that “3rd rate burglary” a tad more than 30 years ago. I can’t wait to see how the story turns out….