The Grand Unified Scandal Theory
I'm beginning to wonder if the US Attorney firing/force-out scandal may well be the Grand Unifying Scandal that connects most if not all of the other Bush scandals.
Like a loose bit of yarn on a sweater, pulling on it tugs at a whole bunch of other things involving the Bush Junta's extreme politicization of the Justice Department — not to mention the rest of the Federal government — and the extreme efforts made by the top players to avoid facing any kind of penalties for wrongdoing.
These are what come most readily to my mind concerning the wide-ranging nature of the USA scandal:
— There's PhoneGate: Looks like BushCo's people may well have applied pressure to get an RNC operative off on a technicality.
— There's the similarly-stinky-smelling effort to give Jack Abramoff a cushy deal. [03/30/07 UPDATE: And now there's another Abramoff connection, in the form of Abramoff's involvement in the 2002 firing of a US Attorney before he could take down an Abramoff pal, the corrupt then-governor of Guam. Brilliant.]
— There's the alleged BushCo sabotage of the tobacco suit.
— There's the attempt by the Bush Junta to pressure the USAs into investigating bogus "voter fraud scandals" designed to damage Democrats.
— There's the Bush Junta's cutting short Carol Lam's probes in the Duke Cunningham and Dusty Foggo scandals — probes that were poised to take down other corrupt congresscritters — by firing Lam as part of the US Attorney massacre.
— There's even a Patrick Fitzgerald connection.
The key, I believe, is Karl Rove. This is perhaps a bit like saying that water is wet to most clued-in FDL readers, but he's looking more and more like the ultimate loose bit of yarn whose tugging causes the whole sweater to unravel. Not even Cheney is as necessary to the continued functioning of the junta. Rove is the Bush White House, for all intents and purposes; that's why he's protected so carefully.
Look at the list of scandals above. Notice the ones in which he now know him to have played at least a minor (and probably major) role:
— There's USA-Gate in general, of course, and most especially the Arkansas chapter of USA-Gate, wherein even DoJ now admits that a perfectly good prosecutor was dumped so Rove's unqualified minion could take the job. And Rove was in on USA-Gate from the very beginning.
— Speaking of USA-Gate, one reason Rove was so interested in seeing Bush zampolit installed as US Attorneys was to further the GOP's pet cause of pushing politically-motivated, evidence-thin "voter fraud" prosecutions against Democrats.
— We know that Rove was sufficiently buddy-buddy with Jack Abramoff (who boasted of his ties to Rove and to Bush and Company in general) to hire Susan Ralston, Abramoff's former assistant, as his White House assistant. Ralston no longer works for Rove , having been caught, um, working on behalf of her old boss. (Speaking of Abramoff: Another former College Republican president, Ron Nehring, was apparently the architect of the plan to zap Carol Lam — and is now the brand-new head of the California Republican Party. And of course Rove in his younger days was high in the hierarchy of that gang of dirty-tricks artistes. Ah, connections.)
— And as Joe Conason reminds us at Salon, Rove lied like a rug early and often in the Plame case — which as I've already noted has the Fitz connection to USA-Gate.
These are just some of the reasons why Bush doesn't dare let Rove testify under oath before Congress, much less in an open hearing before Congress. It would be the end of BushCo.
By the way: As Christy just mentioned this morning, Monica Goodling, the DoJ's White House liaison (meaning the DoJ's Rove liaison), just went on an extended leave of absence. This is right after her role as the go-between with Gonzales and the Bush White House in the US Attorney firings was spotlighted. Hmmm.
The heat must be getting to Karl — Specter and Hagel were out on the talk-show circuit dissing Gonzales this morning, so it sure sounds like Rove’s ready to jettison the Gonzo firewall.
Here’s a thought: If Gonzo had left last week over this, the whole bidness would have likely settled down and Rove would be safe. But it would be yet another humiliating loss of a good buddy for Bushie, as Gonzales has been him nearly long as Rove, IIRC. Now, too many reporters are joining with their blogger brethren into focusing on Turdblossom’s role in all of this.
What really hurts the Blossom is that this comes so soon after the Libby trial, and the whole ‘why isn’t Karl on trial here?’ theme of jury nullification the Libby team tried to use. That didn’t have time to fade from the public mind before this came up.