Will Dick Cheney twist slowly, slowly in the wind?
Now I know the reason for that odd little story that Cheney's not running for President. Walter Pincus on "Big Time":
As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials.
The prosecutor has assembled evidence that shows Cheney's long-running feud with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.
One former CIA official told prosecutors early in the probe about efforts by Cheney's office and his allies at the National Security Council to obtain information about Wilson's trip as long as two months before Plame was unmasked in July 2003, according to a person familiar with the account.
It is not clear whether Fitzgerald plans to charge anyone inside the Bush administration with a crime. But with the case reaching a climax -- administration officials are braced for possible indictments as early as this week--it is increasingly clear that Cheney and his aides have been deeply enmeshed in events surrounding the Plame affair from the outset.
One fact apparently critical to Fitzgerald's inquiry is when Libby learned about Plame and her CIA employment. Information that has emerged so far leaves this issue murky.
In the course of the investigation, Fitzgerald has been exposed to the intense, behind-the-scenes fight between Cheney's office and the CIA over prewar intelligence and the vice president's central role in compiling and then defending the intelligence used to justify the war.
In the Bush White House, Cheney typically has operated secretly, relying on advice from a tight circle of longtime advisers, including Libby, David Addington, his counsel, and his wife and two children, including Liz, a top State Department official. But, a former Cheney aide, who requested anonymity, said it is "implausible" that Cheney himself was involved in the leaking of Plame's name because he rarely, if ever, involved himself in press strategy.
Surely it's even less "plausible" that Scooter Libby outed Plame without checking with his boss?
And who would be the most likely person to throw Cheney to the wolves, I wonder?
NOTE Oddly, the WaPo story doesn't mention WHIG. I wonder why?
UPDATE Curiously, when Cheney went before the Grand Jury, his testimony was unsworn. So I guess perjury traps are for the little people...