Pardon Me, Mr. Rove, But Your Shoe Phone Is Ringing
If Plamegate, the Niger forgeries, the Downing Street Memos and all the rest prove anything, it’s that the Bush administration has a conflicted relationship with intelligence, and I mean that in both the personal and institutional sense.
In the movies, intelligence agencies are typically portrayed as shadowy, sophisticated, ruthlessly efficient organizations. But when you speak of spies and the Bush administration, forget about James Bond. Think: Maxwell Smart. Or perhaps more accurately, his equally bumbling evil nemesis, Siegfried.
Consider the evidence. Over the last five years, the Bush Administration has
- Created a network of phony spies to generate fake evidence of WMDs
- Exposed the identity of a real spy working to find real evidence of WMDs
- Been infiltrated by networks of foreign operatives who are spying on us
(Who knew there was that much irony left in the universe?)
Let’s start with that last point. Here’s a short list of the known spies in the Bush foreign policy cabal:
Larry Franklin. This (former) defense department analyst pleaded guilty to passing classified information to Israel earlier this month. Franklin is a close friend of Neconista Michael Ledeen; both are suspected of having a hand in creating the cartoonishly faked documents claiming Iraq tried to obtain uranium from Niger.
Ahmed Chalabi. The man who would be Saddam, or at least hoped to get the keys to his hot tub, was not only the Bushies’ main source for bogus WMD info, he’s also been accused of spying for Iran. I believe that’s one of those ‘axis of evil’ countries W used to talk about. Now, of course, he’s assistant prime minister of Iraq—just a heartbeat away from that hot tub.
Leandro Aragoncillo. This former US Marine worked in Dick Cheney’s office for three years before somebody figured out he was a spy for the Philippine government. He was arrested in October, on the same day Franklin copped his plea. To quote ABC news:
“ABC said Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, worked undetected at the White House for almost three years before leaving to take a job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was arrested last month and accused of downloading more than 100 classified documents from FBI Computers....The FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage at the White House in modern history.”
So now even the fucking Philippines is spying on us. Can Liechtenstein be next?
You might ask yourself how this could possibly happen. Well, imagine a government made up almost entirely of Michael Browns. That’s the Bush administration. Jim Hightower famously said of George Herbert Walker Bush that “he was born on third base but he thinks he hit a triple.” Well, W was born six feet from home plate, and even then it took Karl Rove and wholesale election fraud to drag him across the line.
It’s like we’re being ruled by the Omegas—the evil fraternity from Animal House. As with W, the only qualification needed for a job in this White House is to be born with a silver spoon up your nose.
They never thought things would go this badly in Iraq. They never thought they’d get caught in the lie. And when they did, they served up George Tenet as the fall guy, tossed a Medal of Freedom at him, and figured that was that.
But we aren’t falling for that old trick. They missed it by a lot. And this time Agent 99 isn’t coming to anyone’s rescue.