International Writers Magazine: Reality Check
Who Will Lewis Libby Bury To Stay Out Of The Stockade?
looking more and more as if Lewis "Scooter" Libby is
going to sing. He is no Ollie North. He's more like John Dean.
And just as both of those gentlemen were caught in the whirlwind
of Washington power plays, he will have a choice to make: Take
one for the team or twitter like a canary.
Of course Libby's
front may be the most egregious of all, because it is the kind of muss
and fuss which normally accompanies a furious ramp-up for war. Ah, but
when the music stopped, and all the chairs had been taken, the man his
buddies once affectionately called Scooter was the sucker left to take
the fall. But, the thing is, on the way down Libby decided he would
not go alone.
This latest furor over the president's leaking of "classified"
information that wasn't necessarily "classified" because the
president can declassify anything he wants is only the beginning. There
will be more. I am told by very reliable sources, much more. It will
doom the Republicans on Capital Hill come fall and put the final nail
in this lame duck second term, which has all but flat-lined anyway.
Writing in this space eight years ago, it was at this crucial point
in the Monica Lewinsky mess that I knew Bill Clinton was more or less
finished. The wild flim-flammery of the definition of certain verbs
and skewed timelines had the distinct odor of guilt. I did not require
any taped mia culpas or stained dresses. The jig was up for the Minister
of Fun right then. He was on the trail of no return. And that is where
we find Captain Shoo-In, the Boy President. He is done for, in more
ways than one.
The deeper ramifications of this "he said/he said/they said"
nonsense reside in what Libby is willing to do to stay out of prison.
Does it mean he goes after the CIA, George Tenet, blast open the case
for war, the strangely vacillating intelligence reports, read and then
misread and finally compiled for the UN under the masquerade of back-room
dealings? Does he take the case inside the White House; break out the
details of weird meetings with Saudi kings and EXXON bagmen burning
up the direct line to the oval office? Does Libby take down his boss,
the unflappable Dick Cheney, who has managed to shake up the power structure
in this administration time and again on every foreign policy decision
since the towers came down in lower Manhattan?
Where does Mr. Libby's story end?
Not even Libby's lawyers know. A figure this powerful with serious connections
in Washington cannot be trusted to handle the pressure of being locked
up. The man has already claimed fractional dementia with clinical memory
lapses. He's fainted more than once during inquisitions and there is
mounting evidence he has harmed himself in several ways to elicit pity.
He is a loose cannon by any stretch of law-speak. He can say anything,
and anyone you talk to surrounding this case tells you he will say anything.
The best the administration can do now is paint Libby as insane, jabbering
with fear and unable to handle the notion of going to prison, stammering
on about smear campaigns, faulty premises for war, and hazy memories
of the vice president stumbling around the halls of the White House
in the middle of the night drooling like an animal, brandishing a shot
gun, and calling Junior out for a showdown. "Jesus, just to think
of a proud man like I. Lewis Libby struggling to free himself from a
straight jacket fills us with a sadness we cannot bear. We pray for
he and his family and wish him a speedy recovery from his delusions."
Believe me when I tell you Karl Rove is not going let a message boy
like Scooter Libby bring down his president. Pretty soon you'll hear
some pretty graphic stories about Libby's secret stash of amphetamines
and his preternatural proclivity for young boys. Oh yes, it will be
disturbing, and make you wince to think of a deviant like Scooter Libby
working side by side with a great American like Dick Cheney. The pure
sensationalism alone will make you forget about any real crimes And
you can be sure the disseminator of this information will not be dumb
enough to allow anyone to reveal his identity. And to think all of this
to intimidate and discredit Joe Wilson's criticism of the Iraq War;
terribly cheap tactics like the Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers leak
that drove Richard Nixon into the kind of despicable acts that dwarf
all others. The Bush people, most notably Rove, believed Wilson was
a threat to national security. Robert Novak was on the payroll. There
isn't a journalist in Washington who would refuse to go on record to
confirm that. Novak would take cash from the Flat Earth Society to pen
a scathing expose on Galileo's cross-dressing obsession. Hell, I would
do it for half price.
Threatening Wilson through his wife's connection to the CIA was two-fold:
Send shockwaves through the place the way Kennedy did after the Bay
of Pigs disaster or Nixon did when Howard Hunt, a former CIA man, lead
a trail of deceit right to Pennsylvania Avenue, and then put the fear
This is an age-old routine, using the press to smear opponents.
Thomas Jefferson did it every chance he could. It's inexpensive and
effective and the citizenry tends to buy it. However, as history has
proven in many ways, Jefferson was no dummy. He employed one of the
most powerful and brightest political minds of the era to bludgeon his
enemies, leaking half-truths, weird innuendos, and downright lies to
the press for a laugh. James Madison, author of the Federalist Papers
and a future president, was Jefferson's mad dog, not some insipid crony
named Scooter. This is just another glaring example of how the political
gene pool has gone in the shit can these past 200 years.
The good news is no one on George Bush' payroll is as conniving as Madison,
not even Rove, who has become as overrated as James Carville. The bad
news is these idiots are as bungling as advertised. The rest of this
story rests in what the vice president's assistant is willing to divulge
and its eventual collateral damage. But the mere notion this is not
a house of cards is way off the mark. It's just a matter of time now
© James Campion April 18th 2006
James Campion the author of "Deep Tank Jersey", "Fear
No Art" and "Trailing Jesus"
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