Well, I'm in it now.
Somehow, the way I thought it would happen went badly off-track: Karl and
I, if it came to it, if there were no other options available, would take
the fall for our bosses. I really believed that. And here I am all by my
lonesome twisting in a harsh wind.
Karl and I run tight ships. We were all supposed to circle the wagons and
keep the indictments restricted, at the worst, to low-level aides.
Instead, it looks like a bad case of every-man-for-himself broke out,
going up the chain of command. I can understand Novak and the other press
guys blabbing -- even sweet Judy, after 85 days in jail -- but our own
guys like Hannah and Wurmser? For chrissakes, those two and other
lower-level Administration officials revealed a whole host of my early
Plame discussions to the Grand Jury!
But that's not what has me really pissed off, and what has put me in this
indictment-box all by myself.
No, it's that Karl, terrified of the legal noose that was settling around
his neck, apparently cut a last-minute deal with Fitzpatrick and got
himself a free-pass, while I'm facing the possibility of years in the
slammer. Granted, I'm basing my judgment on insider reports and newspaper
gossip about why Karl wasn't indicted, but it's clear he didn't try very
hard to protect my ass. In theory, Karl might still get charged, but it
doesn't really look like that will happen.
Yeah, I know that at the end of the day, Bush may pardon me -- I hope it
comes before the trial, if that's legal, but, if not then, when it's
politically prudent to do so. You can hear the spin now: "America needs to
move forward and, in the interests of national security in post-9/11
wartime, close this episode from further scrutiny by our enemies", or some
such verbiage. But a pardon that may or may not arrive is small
consolation when your entire life and all your actions are about to be
opened to the world in a court of law; Dick and I know a lot of secrets
and have been involved in a lot of shadowy events, and I'm feeling
especially vulnerable when it comes to the prosecutors, who will be
looking for the slightest evidence of overlooked crimes or a slip-up in my
A "SENIOR-MOMENTS" DEFENSE?
The GOP spin is that I'm just a "bad apple," a single person inside an
otherwise righteous White House, who went off by himself to out a CIA
agent whose husband questioned our use of suspect pre-war intelligence.
But even if anyone were to believe that -- and the early polls indicate
the public isn't buying it -- it doesn't help my situation. My lawyers and
I are kicking around a kind of "senior-moments" defense: In my position, I
had so much to deal with every day that I inadvertently might have
mixed-up some recollections and got a few dates and facts wrong. But even
I don't think that will fly with a jury, there's just too much evidence
against me, in my own words; no, Fitzgerald has got me good, and I can't
quite see how I'm going to wriggle out.
The problem in lying, as I now know a lot better, is that once you tell a
whopper, unless you alter your story early -- and you have to make that
decision while not knowing what others are revealing in their testimony --
you're more or less obliged to keep telling that same tale and your
liability keeps growing. Karl realized he was in a similar situation, but,
at the last minute, went back to the Grand Jury and told them that his
recollections were now "refreshed." Doing so may have saved his behind,
but at what price to me, to Cheney and Bush, to the cause?
Damn it, why couldn't we stick together on this thing?
Though I haven't discussed it with my attorneys, I'm sorely tempted to cop
a plea and spill some truth-tales of my own. If I'm going down, I'm not
going down alone.
RATFINKING NOT MY STYLE
That's my angry gut talking, diary. I know I probably wouldn't be able to
do that, even to get retribution, because there's no way it would stop
there. Inevitably, Cheney and Bush would be dragged in. And down would go
everything for which we we worked years, decades really. To save their
electoral necks a goodly number of our conservative GOP friends would feel
obliged to desert us, perhaps even on an impeachment vote in the House. If
that scenario would look likely, Bush and Cheney might feel forced to
resign in advance of such a vote.
No, I can't go that ratfink route. I'm better and more loyal than that. I
wouldn't want that on my conscience, ever.
On the other hand, if I weren't pretty clear that a pardon is coming, I
might rethink my reluctance. For example, if Bush's numbers continued to
tank, he might well be advised by Republican leaders that a pardon for me
should not be granted lest the GOP and the entire conservative revolution
go down in flames for a decade or more. And Bush, not the sharpest tack in
the drawer and not knowing what else to do, would agree, despite whatever
pardon-hints his representatives might have dropped to me earlier.
This is so damn complicated! I need some wise counsel here, but all I get
from everyone is self-serving advice: Keep your mouth shut and you'll be
taken care of. Take the fall and you'll be a hero to good patriotic
Americans everywhere. Don't worry, you won't serve much time and you'll be
guaranteed a high-paying corporate job when it's all over. Remember your
important decades of service to Dick and the conservative cause, don't
blow it by weakness now. Hang in there, we'll find one of our made judges
on a federal court to throw out your indictment on a technicality.
WHAT STOPPED FITZGERALD?
I sure hope we can come up with a way out for me. Right now, I've painted
myself badly into a corner, with no easy escape route.
That Fitzgerald is a clever one, bastard though he be. He laid out
virtually an entire case for charging me and the others for outing a CIA
agent whose identity was classified, and then didn't do it; instead, he
got me for lying, while dropping in little nuggets implicating Dick and
Karl. But just left those clues there, presumably for reporters and
Democrats to use in piecing together the puzzle. By doing it that way,
Fitzgerald guaranteed that others would take the hit from GOP loyalists
rather than himself -- smart thinking by a likely future politico.
Fitzgerald knows what happened and who's involved, so why didn't he just
drop the hammer on all of us together? Maybe it's as simple as ambition:
He understood that unless he stopped short of Bush and Cheney, and the
whole issue of how the Administration led the country to war on sketchy
intelligence, he would have no future career.
So why did Fitzgerald zero in on me? Could Dick have abandoned me too, not
just Karl? No, it wouldn't happen. Dick and I are joined at the brain and
soul -- and legal jeopardy for various projects. Karl I can understand,
even if I loathe him for not sticking by me. But no way Dick would abandon
me. I won't even think such thoughts. Besides, even if it were true in
some small way, I long ago vowed that I would take the bullet for him, in
the service of the cause.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
We true conservatives (of the "neo" variety) -- those willing to use our
power openly, ruthlessly and decisively in the service of our country and
ideology -- have come so far in such a relatively short period of time,
from the far-right fringes of political respectability in America to the
locus of power in the world. I would never do anything to endanger our
rightful place in history and permit those namby-pamby pinko liberals an
opportunity to take over again -- not when we're finally in the position
to drown government in a bathtub, to install enough of our judges to make
law from the bench for decades, to grant even more tax relief for our
wealthy friends and corporate supporters, to remove cumbersome government
oversight in so many regulatory areas.
Not only would the liberals expand giveaways to the lazy minorities and
poor domestically, but they would bring a swift end to our grand
experiment in changing the face of the Mideast by diplomacy and threat if
possible, by force if necessary. Without the Soviets, and with the Chinese
still not quite ready, we remain the lone Superpower -- and we should act
like it, doing what needs to be done while we can get away with it. We of
the Project for The New American Century (PNAC), who conceived the
philosophy behind establishing our Pax Americana in the world, are now in
control of the foreign-policy apparatus and should use that power well and
No, I have made my principled stand and, even if I have to go to prison to
make sure our agenda is carried out from the White House, I'll stand tall,
giving no quarter. If you want me, come and get me, coppers!
Copyright 2005, by Bernard Weiner
Bernard Weiner, a playwright, has peeked into
diaries of everyone from Bush and Cheney to Patrick Fitzgerald and
Osama bin Laden. A Ph.D. in government & international relations, he has
taught at various universities, worked as a writer/editor for the San
Francisco Chronicle, and currently co-edits The Crisis Papers
(www.crisispapers.org). To comment, write: >>