Friday, November 04, 2005

Is you is or is you ain't?

President George W. Bush said on Friday he would not comment on the status at the White House of deputy chief of staff Karl Rove until an investigation into his role in the leak of a CIA agent's name was completed.

Bush, taking questions from reporters on the fringes of the Summit of the Americas in Argentina, called the CIA leak probe a "very serious investigation," a week after a vice presidential aide, Lewis Libby, was indicted in the case.

Gaming out how to play this from Shrub's side is fascinating.

If Fitz ends the waiting game by indicting Rove, that is of course a Very Bad Thing: no need to discuss how Bush plays it, because they are all devastating.

But what if Fitz clears him? The excuse for refusing to answer all questions -- including some that he really should have to answer (about security clearances, etc.) has been the pendency of the investigation. No investigation, no excuse for ducking tough questions from a newly persistent media.

Which, paradoxically, may mean that the Assministration might actually want the investigation to continue -- or might even perpetuate the illusion that Rove is still in danger even if he isn't. And because Fitz is back to radio silence, and Bush has about as much credibility as Judy Miller, I'm not sure I even believe Karl is actually still under investigation.

Man, this stuff gets complicated fast.


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