Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More aimless musings on Miller

It appears that the elaborate game played by Libby and Miller was solely intended to force Fitzgerald into questioning Miller only on her July conversations with Libby. They wanted to have it both ways: Libby couldn't be seen as denying the waiver, and Miller couldn't testify until they could pressure Fitzgerald into only asking questions about July. Miller's lawyers couldn't go to Fitzgerald and say "she'll testify on condition it is only about July", as Fitzgerald would then be alerted to the fact that there were other conversations in other months, something which Miller and Libby apparently were assuming he didn't know. Fitzgerald's got another matter with Miller, about Miller tipping off an Islamic charity about a raid (Miller implausibly playing Lynne Stewart, as if Miller would do anything to help an Islamic charity!), so she could attempt to frame the limiting of the questioning in such a way as to direct it to one particular meeting with Libby, using the ruse that this limitation was intended to protect her from 'fishing expeditions' by Fitzgerald. She could plausibly argue that Fitzgerald would be abusing his authority if he used her jailing in one matter to force her to answer questions about the Islamic charity matter. She had to stay in jail long enough to pressure Fitzgerald into agreeing to limiting the questioning to July and to Libby (it's still unclear exactly what the terms of the limitation were, but it is enough to know that it somehow kept her from having to admit to the June meeting). Miller and Libby thought they'd pulled one over on Fitzgerald, having him agree to the July limitation not realizing that they were really trying to keep him from asking about all Miller-Libby meetings, including at least one important one in June.

The elaborate plan was foiled as Fitzgerald apparently found out about the June meeting from another source (the revenge of Colin Powell?). Miller had to promptly find notes which neither she nor the New York Times could find before. All hell has broken loose. But why would Miller and Libby want to avoid even hinting that there was a June conversation? Could it be that the reason is that Cheney was a party to the June meeting, and the actual angry scheme of outing Plame was discussed in profane detail? It was Cheney, after all, who was personally embarrassed by Wilson, and this pointless act of revenge sounds just like Cheney. The Miller and Libby charade to protect Cheney would thus parallel the apparent attempt by Rove to protect Bush by falsely claiming to Fitzgerald that Rove lied to Bush in telling him that Rove wasn't involved in outing Plame. The underlings take a bullet for their betters. Miller's heroic jailing to protect the Constitution just becomes part of a conspiracy to protect Dick Cheney.

This isn't nobility. All these guys saw the collapse of the Nixon White House. You either hang together or hang apart. As long as Cheney and Bush are still around (and they may need President Cheney if the matter goes through the next election cycle), Fitzgerald can bring the full power of the law down on Libby and Rove, only to see them pardoned by Bush and/or Cheney. If you protect the head, the fish doesn't rot so fast.