Sunday, July 10, 2005

The President of the Apocalypse

A document was leaked yesterday about American and British troop reduction in Iraq to less than half by mid-2006? I should think that a policy change like this, which everybody from L.A. to Kabul would welcome (for quite different reasons), would be announced in press conferences, not leaked.

And Karl Rove has now been directly linked in Cooper's email to the outing of Plame. As John Aravosis observes on Americablog, "Bush said he wanted to get to the bottom of this over a year ago...If Rove was so innocent, why didn't he just come forward immediately and say 'Yeah, it was me, but I didn't realize she was undercover'?"

Aravosis also asks a couple of good questions: "Who told Rove that Plame was a CIA agent?" and "Who was the SECOND administration source who leaked the info about Plame? Remember, Novak said TWO administration sources confirmed that Plame was CIA. Who was the second one?"

While reading through the comments on Aravosis' blog post, I came across the name Bolton. Bolton? (I understand that the writers of these comments may not have any of the facts straight and there aren't very many links from the comments to credible sources. Caveat lector.) A blogger named KnaveRupe commented:

Who was in charge of non-proliferation (what Valerie Plame was working on)?

Who requested classified documents about intelligence personnel working in that field?

Whose confirmation is being held up because the govt is stonwalling the documentation on those requests?

Bolton docs will blow the whole thing wide open.
Wow. The storyline is getting really complex. This Washington Post article illuminates Bolton's role as undersecretary of state and how relations with Russia have improved since his departure from that position. Hunter at the Daily Kos wrote an extensive post about whether Bolton, as undersecretary of state, "was explicitly tasked with counterintelligence operations against barriers to the acceptance of the 'fixed' Bush administration intelligence position," but he warned against drawing a direct link between Bolton and Plame.

Jeff Gannon?? Wait a minute. What's he doing here? Actually I shouldn't be surprised since the Washington Post posted this article on February 16:

Gannon is also embroiled in the Valerie Plame story. In 2003 he interviewed Plame's husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, after unnamed administration officials leaked her role as a CIA operative to columnist Robert Novak. According to his Talon News story, Gannon asked Wilson about "an internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel [detailing] a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports."
How would he have seen a memo like that? Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has asked that Gannon be included in the investigation.

And today, Iraq's former interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, was quoted by the London Times as saying:
If we don’t build a state we will lose. Not just as Iraq, but the region as a whole and Europe should say goodbye to stability and so should the United States.
I wonder how this story will end? What an epic cycle, on the vast scale of Lord of the Rings. A presidential candidate intent, even before he's elected, on invading Iraq. A questionable election. 9/11. The invasion of Afghanistan, a surreal land of desert and burqas. Osama bin Laden, a member of a Saudi family with close ties to the President's family, evading capture and still at large. Fixed intelligence linking Saddam with bin Laden. Napalm-like firebombs clearing the way for the invasion of Baghdad, an exotic, mythical city where beheadings still occur. A President, an aircraft carrier, a flight suit, and a "Mission Accomplished" banner. The outing of a non-supportive CIA operative. A quagmire occupation and a swelling insurgency. The polarization of a nation and an unfathomable reelection. A journalist of questionable credentials and suspicious access to the White House. Leaked documents and calls for impeachment. Falling approval ratings. Power brokers appearing before a grand jury. Bombings in London. Leaked documents about a troop pullout. A warning of a civil war and its destabilizing ripple effect.

This story is just a little too intense for me. Let me know what happens in the next chapter. I'll be hiding under the bed.