Friday, April 07, 2006

Leaky thoughts

By Creature

So... Libby testified that Cheney said that Bush had authorized the release of classified information for the political purpose of smearing Joe Wilson. Not only a mouthful to say, but bad, bad, politically damning stuff. The President has been implicated directly for the first time in this entire Plame affair. I have no doubt that Bush was in on the leaking. That being said, this is how I believe the story will play itself out.

The next move is all Cheney's. He is next in line to take the fall. After yesterday's revelation, the only way to get the president off the hook is for Cheney to say he lied to Libby about having presidential authority. Of course, this is a lie. As I said, the president is part of the game, but protecting the president is what these people are all about. Cheney will take a buckshot to protect the president. Cheney will say he acted alone. He will claim he had the power to unilaterally declassify intelligence (as he hinted on Fox during his Whittington confessional). He will claim the president knew nothing and all the talk of the president being a part of this affair will be moot. This also insulates Bush from the firestorm surrounding his own words regarding finding and firing the leaker. He did not lie to the American people because, thanks to the vice president, he can still claim ignorance.

End result -- and this was their backup plan all along if the political heat got too hot -- Cheney steps down, taking the final presidential-protecting blow. Even further, maybe the president fires Cheney to show some political strength. Cheney is dispensable, mainly because his work is done. He got his war and he got his oil.

Or, how about the director's-cut-alternate-ending: They throw Libby under a bus and say Cheney never said that...

Update: The above post made the assumption that Bush would NEVER actually admit to authorizing the declassification and subsequent leaking of information. But it seems he fully admits it and he sees no problem with it. Silly me. The Carpetbagger Report has more.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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