10.22.2005

Saturday Night Dead Redux


My favorite ex-spook Ray McGovern, writing for AlterNet, ponders out loud the nearly unthinkable in "A Long Overdue Frog-March". Slices:
The coming months are likely to see senior Bush administration officials frog-marched out of the White House to be booked, unless the president moves swiftly to fire Fitzgerald -- a distinct possibility . . .

During a speech in Seattle in August 2003, former ambassador Wilson imagined a scene in which police are frog-marching presidential adviser Karl Rove out of the White House. This appeared a bit farfetched at the time, but not now. Indeed, it seems there will be a need for multiple handcuffs and marshals.

From the beginning of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation in January 2004, Wilson expressed confidence that the truth would emerge. And because of Fitzgerald's professionalism and tenacity, we are about to see at least some of the perpetrators of this fraud get their comeuppance. Normally, Schadenfreude is exceedingly hard to resist in such circumstances. But it is harder still to allow oneself any joy at the misfortune of others, when the focus needs to be placed on the huge damage already done to our country, its values, and its reputation.

When the Watergate scandal reached a similar stage in October 1973, President Richard Nixon, ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the intrepid special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson resigned rather than carry out Nixon's order; and so did his deputy William Ruckleshaus. So Nixon had to reach farther down into the Justice department where he found Robert Bork, who promptly dismissed Cox in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre.

Fitzgerald is at least as vulnerable as Cox was. Indeed, in recent days some of the fourth estate, Richard Cohen in the Washington Post and John Tierney in The New York Times, for example, seem to have accepted assignments to help lay the groundwork for Fitzgerald's dismissal.

Will the White House decide to fire special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and simply absorb the PR black eye, as Nixon did? There is absolutely nothing to prevent it. Can you imagine Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refusing on principle an order from President Bush?
My reaction - after feelin kinda giddy - is that Doubleduh is probably better off taking the hit and letting indicted folks resign. Firing Fitzie just might piss off enough Republicans in the Senate to make impeachment a possibility. Remember, Doubleduh'll be gone in three years max . . . but them thar Sinnaters need tuh get ree-eelected. As Ray says in the article, "Stay tuned."