Inside Rove's Diary: How Do I Get Out
of This One?
July 26, 2005
By Bernard Weiner, The
It's been one baaaaaaad week. But I think Scooter and I and the
others probably can finesse our way out of indictments for the Plame
leak. However, Fitzgerald - one of our guys! - must have forgotten
who butters his U.S. Attorney's bread as he seems hell-bent on charging
fellow Republicans with some crime or another.
Looks like our vulnerability will be with what we said, or didn't
say, in the early days of Fitz's investigation - with perjury and/or
obstruction charges possible. That damn memo circulating around
Air Force One, with Plame's I.D. in it, sure has turned out to be
a big problem.
Given who appointed Fitzgerald, our usual "it's-all-partisan-politics"
routine might not work. Won't stop us from trying it anyway. I use
the tools I know how to use. Time to get creative here.
HOW THIS MIGHT PLAY OUT
As I see it, there are four possible scenarios:
1. We play the stretch-the-calendar game for as long as we can,
hopefully until after the midterm election next year - unless we
can get the GOP-controlled Congress not to extend Fitzgerald's tenure
after October. If no luck there, we can hope that Fitz takes his
investigation into 2006, and we delay and delay and file court cases
In other words, get clear of any possibility of a Democrat-controlled
House; if that were to happen, our enemies would have subpoena power
and thus we'd be back in the perjury hole again. If we keep the
House in 2006 (note to myself: time to give Wally a call over at
Diebold), the GOP still will be in control; we spin like crazy and
hope to outlast those unpatriotic bastards who are out for our heads.
Sure wish we had a better attack dog than Ken Mehlman; everyone
knows he's lying the minute he opens his mouth, and then when he
talks, it only gets worse.
2. If we do get indicted and the case against us is strong, we
fall on our swords - admit it was us two behind the whole thing,
we feel terrible, our deep devotion to country and freedom clouded
our blah blah blah blah - and protect Bush and Cheney at all costs.
They knew nothing. If we have to, we resign. Take some of the heat
off. (And if I'm no longer in the White House? Big deal. I direct
the show from K Street.)
3. If Judith Miller decides to barter testimony for immunity,
we're deeper in the doo-doo. At the least, she's a co-conspirator
and can spill a lot of beans, not just about Plame. She knows where
too many bodies are buried on the WMD front, and other foreign/war-policy
hot potatoes. Of course, we know where her bodies are buried also,
so she won't rat us out. Same with the Prez, but he won't cut me
loose because nobody can do what I do for him. Think.
4. If worse comes to worst, and if we can keep any criminal and
impeachment liability away from the President, he pardons all of
us pre-emptively - that is, before we get indicted, or, if it's
too late for that, before we have to take the Fifth in order to
avoid giving depositions. If we have to plead the Fifth, I may just
want to drink one.
(There's precedent for pre-emptive pardons. President Bush #1
gave out free passes during Iran-Contra, pardoning those who could
talk and maybe implicate him, before they even were charged. Yeah,
maybe it looked suspicious, but it cut off any further criminal
investigation at the knees.)
A FAMILIAR ODOR IN THE AIR
This is starting to smell too much like Watergate, in the number
of good Americans that possibly could get ensnared in the prosecutor's
investigative web. Me, Scooter, Bush, Cheney, Condi, Hadley, Ari,
Bolton, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Feith, Perle, Hughes,
Tenet, Negroponte, et al., not to mention a whole slew of reporters
and lower-type aides - all of whom have done good work for us.
(We sure did piss off a lot of CIA agents when we blamed the agency
for the intel that took us to war, and then when we outed one of
their colleagues; they leaked all over us like a broken faucet.
Thank goodness they're ex-CIA agents now, and Boss Goss is purging
the rest of those we can't count on to keep their mouths shut.)
We need to move expeditiously on Roberts' nomination to the Supreme
Court. No doubt, a lot of these criminal issues are going to come
to the Supremes for adjudication, and, with that wishy-washy O'Connor
gone and Roberts in her place, we probably can squeak by. He's a
good little boy who knows all about bread and butter. (And, if we're
lucky, Rehnquist will die soon, and we get to appoint another sure-fire
But as a result of our current difficulties, the Democrats and
the journalistic sharks are circling. They smell blood and realize
we're wounded and thus vulnerable. Even the New York Times
and Washington Post are starting to pile on with front-page
stories, along with the TV networks going big.
The ingrates! We knew reporters would sell their souls to the
Scoop-Devil on a big story, but we counted on editors and news directors
to subvert their efforts - or to chop or water-down or bury their
stories way back in the paper or toward the middle of the daily
We thought by quickly moving up the Roberts' nomination by a few
weeks, we could knock the leak story out of the daily news cycle,
but, damn, by and large they're doing both Roberts and Plame!
It will be payback time when all this dies down, and rest assured
that all those political traitors are going to wish they'd never
PROBE STOPS WITH PLAME, PERIOD
I hope Fitz has gotten the word that this matter stops at Plame.
No ifs, ands or buts. We don't want him digging into the WMD fibs,
manipulations and suspicious documents that got us into Iraq. If
that war and its origins blow up in our faces politically, years
of work go down the tubes, and America will have lost our one big
opportunity to lock up the oil and use Iraq's violent fate as a
warning to those other Arab autocrats over there that they'd better
do what we say.
And, if we Republicans go down, it'll open the floodgates for
those namby-pamby liberals and their fellow-travelers to regain
political power and start reversing so many of our initiatives.
Over my dead body!
Domestically, we're already taking big poll-number losses on the
WMD and Iraq disasters; the latest numbers are continuing south,
especially on the war and the issues of trust and truthfulness -
and we don't need that with all the fudging we're doing here on
the Plame question.
And we definitely don't want Fitz probing into Jeff Gannon, how
and why he was given key interviews and scoops, his Plame-story
connection, and who supplied him overnight passes into the White
House. Any one of those, especially the passes, could be more than
just embarrassing; if provable allegations along those lines were
thrown into this scandal soup, we'd really be done for, as the religious
types would abandon us in droves.
THE OLD "THIRD-RATE" PROBLEM
If we can't stanch the bleeding soon, the vague rumblings about
the "I" word are going to be coming out in the open. The Dems, of
course, already are salivating at the prospect of impeachment hearings
in the House, and even some disgruntled conservative Republicans
are starting to whisper about the possibility.
Sure do understand now how Nixon felt after that humongous landslide
in '72 for his second term and then a "third-rate burglary"
led to likely impeachment and the resignation that followed. We
were riding so high after our 2004 second-term victory, even if
by just a few votes (garnered with a little help from our friends).
It looked like we couldn't be stopped.
And now this - it's not fair. A third-rate leak and here we go
Bernard Weiner has peeked into many
diaries of political leaders - including those of Bush, Cheney,
Powell, Rumsfeld, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and others. He
was a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle for
19 years, and currently co-edits The
Crisis Papers. Send comments to email@example.com.
Crisis Papers Archive