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spy game
what goes around comes around
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)

Oh, what a tangled web we weave... Now, finally, after ElectionGate and WeAin'tGotNoJobsGate and IraqGate, President Bush is finally encountering the first potential scandal of his administration. A member of his staff has apparently leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent to a member of the press, which is a felony. Further complicating the situation is the fact that this CIA agent (okay, her name is Valerie Plame, since everyone already knows now) is the wife of Joseph Wilson, a New York Times writer who was openly critical of the President's claims that Iraq bought uranium in order to make his beloved "weapons of mass destruction."

Now it's being made to look like the Bush administration is dropping dimes on folks to get them to shut up about this Vietnam situation that's going on in the Middle East. The pressure is on Bush to open up the White House to a special counsel who will find out who snitched and punish them to the fullest extent of the law. Bush has been compliant so far, but this investigation has the makings of a real disaster, one that could go down in infamy with Watergate and Whitewater.

The funny thing is, I really think Bush himself had nothing to do with this. But he has created such a climate of deceit in his administration that it's no surprise that it has come back to bite him. Bush is pretty much screwed either way on this one. He could call in a private counsel to investigate him and risk having other some other shady wrongdoings exposed (as Clinton learned when the Whitewater investigation somehow turned into the Monica Lewinsky debacle). Or he could just play dumb and allow questions to fester as Gray Davis did in California and, well, you see how that went.

For the first time that I can remember, musicians, actors, really anyone who opens their mouth in opposition to what is going on in Iraq has suffered criticism unparalleled for a country that boasts its tolerance of freedom of speech. To say that your President is beyond question is ridiculous especially when Clinton was impeached for fooling around with an intern, which last time I checked, put absolutely no one's life in danger -- except maybe Hillary's. The reason why everyone's up in arms over this is because everyone, even the Republicans, know that it's very possible that a White House official would go to this length to silence a visible, influential Bush critic. That's why these times are so distrustful, why everyone's so edgy and paranoid, because of the cutthroat nature that the Republicans have established. The United States has become one big John Grisham novel.

What's most likely to happen, given the way that things have been going, is that Bush will comply with the investigation, his boy John Ashcroft (who, as Attorney General, would be the one most likely to instigate it) will find "nothing" and the powers that be will concoct some other news event to distract us from the original situation.

We are a nation of short attention spans and even shorter memories. So most of us will fall for it, Animal Farm-style for the '04.

After all, isn't that what happened with Osama bin Laden?


Jason Gilmore is a film director, screenwriter, novelist and unrepentant Detroit Pistons fan. Track him down on Facebook.

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tracey kelley
10.7.03 @ 10:51a

"...about this Vietnam situation that's going on in the Middle East."

Wow. There's an interesting thought. I guess I never viewed it that way before.

matt morin
10.7.03 @ 12:40p

I'm starting to hear that Vietnam comparison a lot these days. And it's really starting to look like that.

Jason, great article. You're so right on all of this. Bush is quickly going down as the worst President in the history of America.

I've challenged people to tell me two significant things he's done for the good of this country. No one can even come up with one. But between the scandal(s), the war(s), the degredation of the environment, and the flatlining of the economy, I can point to a million bad things.

Of course nothing is going to come from this investigation. That's why Bush won't appoint an independant investigator. He knows Ashcroft will protect him.

jason gilmore
7.3.07 @ 12:40p

wow, so Libby got pardoned, huh?

it's going to be a sad day when Bush is gone and all his corruption is revealed to the American public in full

robert melos
7.5.07 @ 6:16a

I agree with you, unfortunately I think it'll be years, perhaps decades, before the full scope of Bush legacy is revealed to the general public, and by that time no one will care.

When it comes down to it, I also agree that Bush wasn't in the original loop on the Plame-gate issue. A lot of the problem comes out of the new 4th branch of government, the Vice President's office. I'd like to see Bush tossed out, but not if it means Cheney would be "officially" running things. As a behind the scenes guy he's evil enough, but imagine what he'd do if he stepped out from behind the curtain?

I missed this piece when it was first published. Glad you bumped it up. Nice take on the situation.

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