Now that we know that George W. Bush is the Plame affair's leaker-in-chief, he can drop his homespun village dunce act right now and start talking like the scheming New England Brahmin WASP Yalie he really is.
The news that Bush de-classified the information that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative so he could legally order the release of that fact in the guise of a leak, all to deflect criticism that he lied about not knowing that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, has put to rest any claim that Bush was been misled or misinformed in any policy of any importance. This applies to the war in Iraq, what he knew before 9/11 and anything else for which Bush has been claiming simply not to be in the know.
One certainly wonders, of course, how the CIA will ever be able to recruit anyone for hazardous work again. Think about it: you join covert action, go overseas and do exciting cloak-and-dagger stuff, then -- wham! -- your cover is blown by a U.S. president who wants to evade political responsibility for the war disaster du jour. That bummer is merely collateral damage.
The main show is that Bush is no Ronald Reagan, a man we all know by now was unquestionably senile during a large part of his presidency and "disengaged" during the remainder. Quite the contrary, Bush is devious enough to lie, to know how to scare and smear his opposition and to create the legal pretext so that what appears to be a leak is not a leak at all in case anyone gets caught.
We knew this, of course, about Bush's father. George Herbert Waker Bush, former CIA director, made a career out attempting to hide who he was: a pinched-nose scion of a New England Brahmin family pretending to be a macho Texas oil man. We also know that Bush's values -- if one cares to demean the word by calling them that -- come from his mother, Barbara "rhymes with witch" Pierce Bush, an acid-tongued elitist and racist, and lately alleged money-launderer.
Yet until now we had some ground to give Bush the occasional benefit of the doubt by concluding that the man in the Oval Office was merely a worthless knave of noble sire.
Seemingly, Dubya cannot pronounce the word "nuclear," nor maintain subject-verb agreement within a sentence of any length, nor even end sentences sometimes. Allegedly a former alcoholic, he chokes on killer pretzels. Purporting to be a successful businessman, he got set up by his Daddy, who even had to buy him partners. All this screams: failure, failure, failure.
Even the Internet knows it: go to Google, type "miserable failure," then click on the "I'm feeling lucky" button. You'll see what I mean ...
But the real story is that Bush is a Machiavellian dissembler. He pretends to be stupid, he even goes to the Gridiron dinners to poke fun at his own alleged gaffes. All the while the last laugh is his. He is laughing at us: ha, ha, I ginned up WMDs to get into Iraq and I even took care of all the details of the political fallout ...
Remember when he said that those who outed the CIA spy would be "taken care of"? We thought that "taken care of" meant "punished." We didn't see his crossed fingers, when he really meant they would be taken care of by avoiding jail through an alibi prefabricated by none other than the prez himself.
So, Mr. Bush, if we didn't go to war because of WMDs, and we certainly didn't go to lower oil prices, and we certainly couldn't have gone to bring democracy to a country invented by the British Foreign Office (1931, check that out) that only a dictator could rule, why did we go to Iraq?
Don't lie, Mr. President, we're on to you.