Saturday, November 18, 2006

That annoying light in the tunnel

Looks like a train headed for Rove, doesn't it? Perhaps. But I suspect the train is really headed for the Veep and Rove just happens to be in the way.

Well, in the way that Nell, tied to the railroad tracks squealing for her Mountie to rescue her, is in the way of the train. Nell is really just bait; her annoying shrieks are intended to attract the real target of attention.

Rove is our Nell at the moment, and squeal he does. Nothing gets printed in mainstream media about Rove without Rove's implicit permission; he's had a deathgrip on the corporate-owned press for more than six years now, beating them senseless whenever the press doesn't sit-up-beg-speak-good-boy as Rove desires. Therefore stories rumoring Rove's imminent departure from the White House must be seen as sanctioned. Perhaps the rumors aren't true -- but then why would Rove permit this? Or perhaps this is a whisper campaign against Rove, one might speculate. But Rove is the master of whisper campaigns; is it possible this is yet another of his own making?

At the same time the rumors about Rove leaving the White House are flying about, there is a change in the storyline about Iraq. I doubt it's a coincidence. After all these years, the folks who are so keen on creating their own reality are not likely to leave off the practice now. You'll note that the storyline has shifted over the last three years in multiple phases, broken down most simply like this:

Phase I -- they didn’t lie, the info was super-secret, and look, mushroom clouds on the horizon!

Phase II -- they had to go to war on the truth they had, besides, look at all these other nifty reasons, including your own treason for asking.

And then finally, within the last couple of days:

Phase III -- the lies -- I mean, facts -- were only a little bit of the reason for war.

They're now admitting to the misinformation, but doing so in such a way that they innoculate the public against disclosures that confirm this, and misdirect at the same time towards other matters that could ostensibly have affected the decision to go to war in Iraq (but probably had nothing to do with the decision, and everything to to with the continuing justification).

Ah. So very Rovian.

Or Baker-ish?

It's possible that this is the handiwork of James Baker, although I really don't know if this is his scrittura a mano that we see. I suspect that Baker is speaking through Rove, muddying things a bit in the translation.

I also suspect that we've had a bloodless coup recently, perhaps no more than a week ago. The coup didn't happen overnight; it slowly gathered steam as the old-school conservatives within the uppermost handful of percentiles became freaking-out panicky at the damage this administration has wreaked upon the nation and the world. I guess I should have realized it was more than a media tipping point when Ben Stein asked us to take his money and save the world on a fairly recent CBS Sunday Morning show, albeit in his usual curmudgeonly, scornful tone. As a former speech writer for Nixon and a card-carrying member of the old-school conservatives, Stein expressed his hysteria over the damage to years of anti-nuclear proliferation work in his weekend program screed; it is surely what others of his age and older must have been thinking about the current Bush administration. But it was more than a rant or a plea for help; it was a warning or smoke signal that change was imminent. I just didn't realize it at the time.

And in steps the Iraq Study Group, compromised in large part of old Iran-Contra folks and the Bush family consigliere, right on cue. They are not experts on the Middle East as much as they are experts in administration of the presidential sort. They include the kind of people who worry beyond the end of the next week, well into the next presidential administration and beyond, unlike the current administration. As one outlet noted, the consigliere himself brandished a one-foot thick report with which he reset the tone of the current administration, as if smacking the dip switches on a clunky machine to restart it again. And if the same outlet is to be believed -- it's pretty sketchy, I grant you -- Cheney exited a meeting with the consigliere, Dubya and administration folks not to be heard from for nearly two weeks, having been told to shut up and sit down.

Heck...we heard more from him after he accidentally shot his victim this past year, and we all know how secretive he was then.

There's no breadcrumb trail here, no dots slightly askew to be aligned, but I think all these things are related. Rumors about Rove leaving, the change in the Iraq story line, and Cheney exiling himself after a rebuff -- yup, not unrelated.

My best psychic guess tells me that in the wake of the coup in which the ISG members replaced administration officials as operating functionaries, Bush consigliere Baker has promised Rove a presidential pardon if he plays ball. This means Rove falls on his sword for Junior, exits the White House...and then flips on Cheney with the Department of Justice's investigation of the Plame Affair. The rumors being spread about Rove's imminent departure are intended to communicate to others that the coup is now complete, that the older adults have forced the children to their own table, and that the ill-behaved should get their affairs in order before they can be spanked but good. Maybe it's not exactly the same as Nell shrieking for rescue by her Dudley Do-Right mountie, but there sure is a lot being communicated, and a lot of peripheral activity going on in tandem.

Someone has taken this shrieking to heart and didn't wait for the order to the children's table. Cheney has been shredding documents, possibly in a preemptive attempt to protect against a future subpoena of papers once protected under executive privilege, but no longer exempted if executive privilege is lost or possible criminal intent is uncovered. The loss of privilege would happen if Cheney was no longer Veep...and criminal intent might be uncovered if somebody within the administration's deepest circle of trust sang like a bird.

Or both.

Which brings me to the change in the storyline. Is the acting operating "committee" that has supplanted the power of the current administration now preparing the public to hear that their Veep is a criminal that lied to them?

Is Cheney going to end up becoming the ultimate scapegoat, taking the blame for all the lies and abuse of power that this administration has foisted on the public?

Maybe the better question is whether Cheney will ever get offered the same deal as Rover -- step down and we'll give you a presidential pardon?

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