Sunday, October 16, 2005

Rich in the NYT: It's Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby

Another good Rich column, mostly on the White House Iraq Group (WHIG): "'Bush's Brain' is the title of James Moore and Wayne Slater's definitive account of Mr. Rove's political career. But Mr. Rove is less his boss's brain than another alliterative organ (or organs), that which provides testosterone. As we learn in 'Bush's Brain,' bad things (usually character assassination) often happen to Bush foes, whether Ann Richards or John McCain. On such occasions, Mr. Bush stays compassionately above the fray while the ruthless Mr. Rove operates below the radar, always separated by 'a layer of operatives' from any ill behavior that might implicate him. 'There is no crime, just a victim,' Mr. Moore and Mr. Slater write of this repeated pattern.

THIS modus operandi was foolproof, shielding the president as well as Mr. Rove from culpability, as long as it was about winning an election. The attack on Mr. Wilson, by contrast, has left them and the Cheney-Libby tag team vulnerable because it's about something far bigger: protecting the lies that took the country into what the Reagan administration National Security Agency director, Lt. Gen. William Odom, recently called 'the greatest strategic disaster in United States history.'

Whether or not Mr. Fitzgerald uncovers an indictable crime, there is once again a victim, but that victim is not Mr. or Mrs. Wilson; it's the nation. It is surely a joke of history that even as the White House sells this weekend's constitutional referendum as yet another 'victory' for democracy in Iraq, we still don't know the whole story of how our own democracy was hijacked on the way to war."


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