Bob Harris tries to read between the lines of Bush’s recent “revision” of the policy about when White House personnel get turfed:
What I find intriguing is Bush’s insistence that “I don’t know all the facts. I want to know all the facts.” Maybe I’m making too much of this, but this is way more than the “no comment” position feigning respect for the investigation. This is a positive statement of ignorance. And this also has an immediate political cost: he looks like he’s a) covering up, b) spectacularly careless and incompetent, or c) all of the above.
The only other times I’ve seen presidents personally assert their own ignorance this way: Nixon during Watergate and Reagan during Iran-Contra. Probably why my spidey sense went all tingly.
He also has some interesting background on Patrick Fitzgerald, the special investigator heading the case:
The full damage caused by the leak isn’t yet knowable (at least without the clearance). But Valerie Wilson’s CIA front, Brewster-Jennings, was reportedly tasked with tracking the smuggling of explosive materials in the Middle East, so that crap like the 1993 WTC attack, the embassy bombings in Africa, and 9-11 wouldn’t be even worse next time.
(That’s the operation apparently shit-canned by this White House for their own political gain. So you can see why the CIA lifers pushed the case for criminal investigation, and why people are throwing the word “treason” around so much.)
The 1993 WTC attack was prosecuted by… Patrick Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald was then assigned to prosecute, yes, the Al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.
Fitzgerald was building a case against Osama Bin Laden five years before 9-11.
This job, one concludes, involved a certain appreciation for intelligence people studying the illicit movement of explosives by terrorists.
If there’s a single prosecutor in America who fully understands what the Plame case is about – a reckless compromise of national security for political interest – it’s this guy. If there’s a prosecutor in this country who groks the background and context of the specific operations destroyed by this crime, it’s this guy. And if there’s a single prosecutor capable of pursuing a conspiracy case no matter where it reaches, it sure seems like it’s this guy.
Hopefully that helps some of you understand why the rest of us are watching this thing develop with the intensity that we are.