It's been one badddddddd 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" mantra 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, or make him real nervous by starting a Congressional investigation of his work. If no luck with either of those strategems, we can hope that Fitz takes his investigation into 2006, and we delay and delay and file court cases and appeals.
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 underlings behind the whole thing, we feel terrible, our deep devotion to country and freedom clouded our blahblahblahblah -- 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, for one.
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, Negropointe, et al., not to mention a whole slew of reporters and lower-type aides -- all of whom have done good work for us.