Why Bush and Cheney can’t let Scooter sing

John Colson

Well, President George Bush is certainly nothing if not predictable.The talking heads on TV had barely caught their breaths after reports on Scooter Libbys conviction on charges he lied about his role in the Plamegate affair, and on his sentence to 30 months in prison and a fine of a quarter-million dollars.Then, before you could say, Excuse my transparency, they were speculating about whether our Dissembler in Chief would pardon his lap dog for peeing on the Bush political carpet.There is absolutely no evidence that Bush paused to reflect on the fact that everyone expected a continuation of the culture of corruption in the White House and its puppet agencies before commuting Libbys prison term to probation while leaving in place the $250,000 fine.The devil made him do it, of course the devil in this guise being none other than Libbys boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, the man we all know is the real president of the United States.Cheney has always been careful to keep his recommendations to his boss entirely secret. We only learn of them in the form of policy pronouncements from the White House, such as idiotic decisions to send more troops to Iraq in the apparent hope that maybe the added blood on the streets will drown the insurgency in its lair.So why would Cheney pull this particular bonehead move?Why would he advocate a step that clearly pulls Bush into a pose of complicity with those who revealed Valerie Plames identity as an undercover CIA operative?Why would he think it smart that the country conclude that Bush endorsed, or at least approved of this way of punishing Plames husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, for his public exposure of Bushs lies about why we are at war in Iraq?Why?Ill tell you why Cheney, better than anyone, knows what a weak link Libby is. All you have to do is look at the guy to know, without any doubt, that within two weeks of incarceration he would sing like a lark on a bright spring morning. And the notes of his song would not be good for Cheney, Bush or the entire construct of deceit and destruction that the Bush presidency has become.Libby certainly knows who decided Plames identity should be leaked to the media. He certainly knows who was in on the discussions leading to that decision. And he undoubtedly knows where the papers are that could prove any assertions of those points, although its entirely possible that Cheney is smarter than Richard Nixon was and already has shredded, electronically scrubbed and otherwise obliterated all the evidence.Once Libby started singing, how long would it be before Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor who convicted Scooter, draws up indictments?And given the mood of Congress and a growing number of U.S. citizens, including even some Republicans, how long would it be before there is a general call for Cheneys head on a platter?And if Cheney falls, can there be much doubt about the name of the next guy to take a hit? Do the initials G.W.B. ring a bell?We could be facing a Watergate-like unraveling of an administration that has always seen itself as above the law, immune to the consequences its actions would have and should have brought raining down on the head of Bush/Cheney.If all the songbirds in the Bush menagerie started singing at once, the resulting cacophony could well be deafening. The venality of this administration has been stunning, to say the least, and the idea that even part of its internal machinations could be brought into the light of day is titillating.Bush, of course, either knows all this or, more likely, has had it outlined in stark terms by Cheney to the point where even The Shrub can recognize the potential for political annihilation when he sees it looming on the near horizon.So, of course, Scooter will stay out of jail. As for the fine, it is in keeping with the outlook of the hyper-wealthy that paying a meager fine should make up for all evils. And paying the fine will permit Bushs cabal of criminals, conspirators and thugs to get on with the business of raping the federal treasury, denuding the national forest, crippling the federal bureaucracy, and generally making it nearly impossible for any progressive salvation of our governmental safeguards and humanistic policies anytime soon.