(Almost) All The President’s Men

5 comments January 31st, 2007at 08:17pm Posted by Eli

At work, we have this term, “level-set.” I’m not exactly sure why, but it basically means to step back and take stock of where a project stands and what we’re trying to do (I may not have that exactly right, but I’m still employed, so I must not be too far off). I was doing my own level-set of the Scooter Libby trial, but instead of looking at it from the perspective of Scooter’s guilt or innocence or prospects, I was thinking about the sheer number of leakers involved, and who they work for.

By my count, there are at least five government-to-media leakers (in no particular order): Libby, Rove, Ari Fleischer, Dan Bartlett, and Richard Armitage – did I miss anyone? So far in the trial, Dick Cheney has been portrayed as the criminal mastermind orchestrating all of these leaks (except maybe Armitage’s), yet all the leakers but Libby reported primarily to Bush, not Cheney.

Three thoughts, related and not:

1) Five leakers sounds like a full-court press to me. Are we really supposed to believe that even a president as clueless as Dubya was not aware of what his #2 and his “brain” were up to?

2) Are we really supposed to believe that, as his defense contends, Libby was so distracted by Important And Busy Responsibilities to remember any particulars about Plame or the leakage?

3) Did Ari resign so he wouldn’t have to be in the awkward position of having to answer media questions about a leak that he himself participated in?

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Libby/Plame,Politics,Wankers


  • 1. Jenny from the Blog  |  February 1st, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Eli, I’ve thought about this too and I think it’s plausible in this case that Bush just told someone to find a way to destroy Joe Wilson and went about his business clearing brush. Details are for the *little people*.

    On other issues like torture, though, I believe Bush was actively involved. It’s the kind of thing he’d get his jollies off on. Just my sense of things.

    If we find out Bush gave the directive personally I wouldn’t be shocked, but I think he’s too dumb and impatient to have concocted such a scheme. Torture and murder of detainees, though… no brainers! Leveling Falujia, sure, why not? He could give the approval and still make it into bed with his special little pillow and his *lump* by 8 PM.

  • 2. Jenny from the Blog  |  February 1st, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Um, what I mean is I never thought the outing of Wilson’s wife was Bush’s particular brainchild, but I have no doubt when he was informed (and I’m sure he was) he thought it was A-okay.

    (Hee, I just saw your “sorry you can only post once every 15 seconds, slow down cowboy message”. Only you, Eli.) Okay, NOW can I post???

  • 3. Eli  |  February 1st, 2007 at 10:01 am

    The president loves to talk to operators.

    The 15-second message isn’t mine – that’s what it says out of the box.

  • 4. charley  |  February 1st, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    1. they all knew

    2. no

    3. yes

    when you shoot 4×5 you level set your tripod as a first course of action. then when you get into all the strange movements while focusing on your subject you haveve a standard or a base from which to proceed. i hope fitz is looking at the big picture and he shoots a masterpiece.

  • 5. Eli  |  February 1st, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Level set makes a lot more sense for your world than mine…

    I do hope this ends up like Fitz’s other cases, where he works his way all the way up the food chain. I think Cheney might be ripe for the plucking, but Rove’s the one I really want.

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