The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check

Scooter's Song
James Campion
Who Will Lewis Libby Bury To Stay Out Of The Stockade?

It's 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 into Wilson.
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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