Saturday, October 22, 2005

Man Overboard....

Josh Marshall suggests that this piece in the L.A. Times detailing "Scooter" Libby's breathless pursuit of Joseph Wilson has less to do with detailing his obsession than setting him up.

Josh's instinct is likely correct. Despite Republican talking points to the contrary, Fitzgerald is not going to merely close up shop and leave town. The lawyers must know this and they have spent the past two weeks getting ready. They might be uncoordinated and ill-prepared, but they know they have to make it about one man, not a coordinated White House operation. They have to build a story that doesn't imply the President condoned such activity, even though it is pretty clear he did.

Josh also notes that the White House Communications Director allegedly reigned in Libby in April of 2004:
Keep that in mind when considering possible coordination between the White House and the majority staff on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence while it was finishing up the Iraq WMD report in the summer of 2004. We'll return to that subject later.
There has clearly been coordination between the chair of the Senate Select Intelligence, Pat Roberts, and Vice President Cheney on the Committee's investigation into the use or potential misuse of intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq war. That second report has been long in coming and isn't likely to see the light of day soon. The role of Cheney's office in the first report, the investigation into Iraqi WMD's is unclear, but given his efforts to mold any and every aspect of this issue to support the administration's viewpoint and goals it would not be farfetched to suspect some form of prodding.

- Murphy

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