The CIA leak investigation: Bigger fish, deeper water

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald isn't finished with the Bush White House yet


In President Bush's first term, some of the most important decisions about U.S. national security--including vital decisions about postwar Iraq--were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.... I believe that the decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less....

The administration's performance during its first four years would have been even worse without Powell's damage control. At least once a week, it seemed, Powell trooped over to the Oval Office and cleaned all the dog poop off the carpet....

Today, we have a president whose approval rating is 38 percent and a vice president who speaks only to Rush Limbaugh and assembled military forces. We have a secretary of Defense presiding over the death-by-a-thousand-cuts of our overstretched armed forces (no surprise to ignored dissenters such as former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki or former Army Secretary Thomas White). It's a disaster. Given the choice, I'd choose a frustrating bureaucracy over an efficient cabal every time.


These are the sorts of folk the Bush White House's pursuit of the Iraq war has left waiting in the wings with scores to settle. Time will tell whether Fitzgerald can work his way to them, but knowing they are out there cannot be good for Dick Cheney's heart, or his sleep.

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