Monday, February 5, 2007

On the transmigration of Republican operatives' souls

Note: For proper effect, you should read this post while listening to eerie-sounding Theremin music--like this.


On Tuesday, January 24, 2007, convicted Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt died in Miami.

Hunt, a former CIA officer and author of numerous spy thrillers, had expressed bitterness that he spent 33 months in federal prison for his part in the Watergate scandal, used as a scapegoat while Nixon was allowed to resign with full pension and benefits.

Hunt planned the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Campaign Committee headquarters in the Watergate hotel. The break-in team, whose actions were coordinated with Nixon's re-election committee and the White House, was looking for evidence of a desperately sought money connection between Nixon foreign policy bĂȘte noire Fidel Castro and 1972 anti-war Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern.

The link was non-existent, and no evidence was found.

The break-in was one of several covert actions taken by the White House to discredit perceived threats to its Vietnam war policies and to Nixon's re-election.

The Watergate story was ignored by reporters from most news media until persistent reporting by the Washington Post finally drew widespread attention to the unfolding scandal.

Dissolve to:

Meanwhile, some 1500 miles north, in the Washington DC courtroom where Scooter Libby was on trial for perjury in connection with his part in the White House organized effort to reveal Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative to several DC reporters, curtains rustled on a windless day, a chill passed over those present in the courtroom, a cloud moved in front of the sun, a dog howled on a distant moor, the clock struck thirteen, and a raven landed on the transom of the courtroom door.

On the same day Hunt died, January 24, 2007, the attorney for Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney and author of a thriller novel, claimed that Libby was being scapegoated, set up to take the fall by a White House desperate to conceal Karl Rove's involvement in the outing of Valerie Plame to several reporters in DC.

Plame's exposure was part of a coordinated effort by a Bush White House desperate to discredit her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, after he challenged Bush's State of the Union speech reference to a link between Bush foreign policy bĂȘte noire Saddam Hussein and a plot to purchase nuclear materials from Niger.

The link was non-existent, and no evidence was found.

The Plame incident was one of several covert actions taken by the White House to discredit perceived threats to its Iraq war policies and to Bush's re-election.

The Plame information was ignored by most of the reporters that the White House shopped it to, until it was picked up by Robert Novak in his syndicated column and appeared in the Washington Post.

So--if you've ever had the feeling that they're like the undead, that they seem to keep coming back no matter what, I can't deny you may be onto something.

One more reason to be worried about Dick Cheney's bad ticker.

(Sound clip via; polish via Sam.)

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