CHENEY

It’s been pretty obvious for a while now. The heart of the Plamegate thingy is Dick Cheney. Who believes that Scooter Libby would be engaged in an elaborate attempt to defenestrate an administration critic on WMDs in Iraq without Cheney’s knowledge and approval? Over a week ago, I proposed the obvious scenario. It was Cheney who sicced Libby onto Miller et al. The question then becomes: how did Cheney know about Plame and did he know she was an officially undercover agent? The fact that Libby appears to have tried to cover for his boss – and dramatically tripped up in what looks like perjury, or, at least, an implausibly flawed memory under oath – only further leads to the conclusion that Cheney has and had something to hide. If all Cheney was doing was politics, why would Libby cover for him? And if Libby lied about where he first got the information, did Cheney also? Under oath? I’m beginning to understand, for example, why Bush told Andy Card to inform Dick Cheney about the Miers nomination. Bush was already insulating himself from Cheney and the legal trap Cheney might have signified.

MORE WILD SPECULATION: So let’s run a scenario here. Libby and Rove are indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. Cheney, who appears to have been the source for Libby, remains vice-president. How plausible is that? It’s plausible if Cheney cannot be shown to have known Plame’s covert status or name; while Libby has tied himself into perjurial knots. It’s implausible if Fitzgerald has actually discovered clear evidence of Cheney’s and Libby’s knowledge of what was at stake in Plame’s CIA cover. Where would he get such clear evidence? Tenet hasn’t been summoned in months. I’m still interested in what, if anything, Colin Powell or other senior figures may have told Fitzgerald. Powell has motive and means to finger Cheney. Who else has both?

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