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The Rest, I'm Afraid, We Know

and it's not pretty, so Fitz, get your butt in gear

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, October 26, 2005.

I was really annoyed this morning, all ready to write text excoriating the hypocritically corrupt Bushies, to discover that we actually know little more than we did last week about Plamegate and the investigation. Patrick Fitzgerald is remarkably competent about keeping his cards close to his vest, if they’re not still wrapped in cellophane. As of this writing, ABC is now claiming that no announcement will be made Wednesday, today, by Fitzgerald, although it is possible that the grand jury could return an indictment placed under seal, or something equally annoying for me and many others. It’s not about justice or national security; it’s about my deadline, people.

What Alistair Cooke used to do, when he wrote for the Manchester Guardian and recorded for the BBC days before publication or broadcast, and his work had to go by mail or courier across the Atlantic, was to keep everything rather vague and end with “the rest, you know.” This compensated for any developments that might affect a too-specific commentary, like a King abdicating, or a world war breaking out, or criminal indictments being announced against the two highest advisors in an American administration. But I’m not British, that smooth, or that patient. And I doubt you’re dumb enough to fall for it, but I did think about it since I have access to your unimpressive SAT’s, and some stations play this days after I record.

And, I lied. We do know a few more things than we did last week. Cheney may have fibbed under oath, and Libby surely did, condemned by his own handwriting. Rove has been called back four times, and may have a quick refresher with the Special Counsel in the last moments before hell opts to descend. All that, however, could fall under national security and be exempt from prosecution. I don’t know what would be more satisfying: watching Cheney and Rove do a perp walk or watching all the supposedly connected media types dissolve into Latte froth nothing whatever emerges from Plamegate. That would be hard to believe, given all, but it could happen.

But it shouldn’t, in a just world. The Vice President is trying to get the McCain anti-torture bill amended so that it does not apply to the CIA. Cheney is apparently one of those who think torture mostly works, whereas I’ve read articles by, among others, the head of Mossad, that it mostly doesn’t beyond a certain low point, and that point is rarely demarked by pain. Torture doesn’t sub for Intel, and assures reciprocation if you can’t keep it secret. And unless you can kill them without anyone’s suspicions, there’s no secret. So, other than sadism, what’s the point?

And while we wait for Fitzgerald, terrifying stories emerge. Iran’s new unpronounceable leader has stated, full out, that Israel needs to be wiped off the map, and that it will feel the full wrath of the Islamic world. This full wrath of the Islamic world hitherto has been a joke even within the Islamic world, which is one of the failures bin Laden hoped to correct with demonstrations of competence and martial ardor. He pretty much failed when his big 9-11 attacks resulted in the world rather awed by how quick the US absorbed and moved on, with no visible signs of national trauma, which is also a current problem for George Bush, who is dependent upon waving that Bloody Shirt. So what has given Iran the feeling of security it can declare again Khomeini’s desire that Israel go bye-bye even after being anointed part of the Axis of Evil?

I’d bet it’s a nuclear bomb soon out of the oven or just completed or purchased from North Korea, developments due almost entirely to the Bush incompetencies. Coupled with what looks like a failing US war in Iraq and reassuring evidence America can’t shelter its own, anymore, Iran slaps Bush’s and Israel’s face. Neither Russia, China, India, Israel, nor the West can be thrilled about it. The only question is which of them will drop the bunker busters and wrap some portion of Iran in radioactive dust, because the thought of those rabid mullahs with fingers on a button of intermediate range missiles gives them gas. I cannot believe all those nations would allow Iran to get a bomb. One of them, at least, will act.

This cheerful, uplifting story gets about zero remarks this day, because we’re waiting on Fitzgerald. I’m sure he’s a nice man, in his way.

But if he doesn’t get his act in gear pretty quick, I see the coming nexus of media and sleaze, the new Missing White Girl. I see on Wonkette, part of the Gawker Journalistic Empire and everyone’s first choice for breaking news of vast federal importance, that someone is outing Anderson Cooper and Shepard Smith, anchormen at CNN and Fox, respectively, as gay. Who'd have thought?

This bridges the hitherto necessary chasm between stories best described as swill and nuclear conflagration, and if one of them suicides, at least eight weeks of lead-in stories are set in stone, pushing Iran and Israel back down the importance scale, past avian flu to the national zoo’s baby panda coverage. Which, by the way, is a 24/7 cam in the den fixated on little Butterstick, the preferred nickname to Tai Shan.

So, Pat, take your time. The rest, I'm afraid, we know.