God, that was humiliating! I've never taken a dive before, and it
showed. I was sweating like a pig as those senators used me like a
Obviously, I couldn't tell the truth about the U.S. Attorneys situation,
or the whole enterprise would collapse -- Karl, Dick, The Boss, the
whole lot -- along with me. Ain't no way I'm going to the slammer, at
least not tripped up by anything I've said.
If the Demoncrats are going to get me, they'll have to prove it, and I
don't think they'll be able to locate anything but circumstantial
evidence. The cleaning crew did its work well. I hope.
So there I was in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee coming off
like someone with early-onset Alzheimer's: "I can't recall," "I've
wracked my memory and have no recollection," "that meeting just isn't in
my memory," and a hundred other such variants. Embarrassing!
Sure, it was obvious I was lying my head off, but they can't get me for
a "faulty memory" or for when I said "I believe" that such-and-such
happened or didn't happen. I know my way around the magic words. We
rehearsed for days so I'd be comfortable using those terms and
delivering my lines with believability. (Who was it that said "once you
can fake sincerity, the rest is easy"?)
Yes, everyone knew, even my Republican friends, that I was sent up there
as a grand deflector, and they were pissed as hell that it was just me
in front of them and not Cheney or Rove or Bush. To the senators, I was
disrespecting them, treating them like easy marks; they'd just as soon I
depart my job ASAP. But they are dumb marks, thinking they're in
control of the situation when in reality, as long as we all keep our
various stories straight, we still are.
STILL IN CONTROL OF JUSTICE
We figure my immediate humiliation will pass in a week or two, and I'll
still be in charge of the DOJ, from where we can control the pace and
direction of the anti-Bush Administration flak coming our way --
especially with regard to impeachment. And our replacement U.S.
Attorneys will still be in position to help us for the 2008 election,
doing whatever they can to minimize liberal turnout (it'll be "Democrat
vote fraud" big time) and to protect our Republican office-holders.
After my testimony, as we expected, the Democrats have been blustering
and raging, along with a few turncoat Republican weaklings, scared at
losing their seats if they don't cut their open support of the Bush
Administration. But the whole mess should blow over quickly, since "I
serve at the pleasure of the President" and he's not going to throw me
to the wolves, no matter how loudly they bay.
Bush values loyalty and my years of serving him faithfully (sometimes
drawing, how shall we say?, slightly outside the legal lines), so I
think I'm safe for the time being. But, they've let me know that if the
situation doesn't calm down, if things get really hot for the
Administration because of me, I'm expected to resign. A pardon, maybe
even a pre-emptive one before indictments are unsealed, should cover me
down the line. (It worked for Bush's dad when he was President,
pardoning Iran/Contra scandal figures before they'd even been charged.)
THE NIXON & REAGAN PARALLELS
I know my history. I know how Nixon kept throwing one after another of
his assistants overboard in Watergate in order to protect his closest
and most loyal aides, Haldeman and Ehrlichman, who knew every illegality
they and Nixon and the rest of the crew had committed -- and then had to
dump them as well to try to save his own hide. So I know I'm ultimately
expendable, but we'll try to keep that day from ever happening. (But if
Goodling and McNulty and Sampson at DOJ start dropping bombs on me, that
may not be possible. And like Haldeman and Ehrlichman, I know where the
bodies are buried as well.)
So, yes, I was thrown back into history with the Nixon parallels. But I
had another deja vu experience, this one going back to President Ronald
Remember when Reagan, with a straight face, said about the Iran/Contra
Scandal: "A few months ago, I told the American people I did not
trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me
that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
And there I was the other day responding to the senators on whether or
not I mentioned to President Bush that I had received information from
Rove and Senator Pete Domenici about that New Mexico U.S. Attorney:
"I now understand there was a conversation with myself and the
And pundits pundit-ed and folks laughed, and I had to endure satire like
this supposed "translation" of what I said from some creep named Archer
Lawyersworldland blog, which is now circulating around the internet
all over the goddamned world:
In the dim dawning light of understanding,
understanding that I never had before and which, miraculous to
relate, I have now, I begin to grasp -- only because it has been
explained to me and I couldn't grasp it myself and don't believe
it's really true, but people who are much smarter and stronger than
I am have made me understand, or perhaps have brainwashed me ... Yes
-- that's it -- people have kept me up late and interrogated me
night after night until I now understand there was a conversation
with myself (see how crazy I really am?) and the president. But I
only understand that now -- I didn't understand before, because
whatever has been done to me to make me say this stuff, whatever
terrible victimization I have endured (and no, I don't remember what
it was, so it must have been terrible) had not yet been done to me."
That's not funny, diary; it's too close to the bone. We
should find the traitor who wrote those hurtful words -- which casts
aspersions on our fine roster of DOJ lawyers and U.S. Attorneys around
the country, along with the soldiers in Iraq -- and send him somewhere
for some robust questioning.
PEELING AWAY PROTECTIVE LAYERS
The Democrats really want to get Cheney and Bush in the Senate well, and
Rove under oath at a committee hearing, on trial for their jobs. But
they know they can't get to them. Yet. So they are peeling away at the
outer core of the onion -- with inner-circle folks like me.
Already preparing themselves for likely subpoenas and interrogation on
various matters: Rove and Harriet Miers and Condi Rice and maybe Stephen
We could all go down on this deal and all the associated "White House
Horrors" (as John Mitchell termed the hidden Watergate secrets), what
with our manipulating the ballot numbers, harsh interrogation methods,
extraordinary rendition, abandoning habeas corpus as a protective
judicial concept, etc. etc. Those pinko liberals hate that we take all
that law-and-order stuff seriously. We use the law and keep them in
So the trick is not to go down. I think I'd better fasten my seatbelt.
We're all in for a mighty bumpy ride during the remaining
year-and-a-half of our Administration's tenure. If we last that long.
Copyright 2007, by Bernard Weiner