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Was It Just Wilson the White House Was After When It Outed Plame?

05.22.2006 05:18 | DISPATCHES

On February 13, The Raw Story's star reporter, Larisa Alexandrovna, was among the first to explain how the work Valerie Plame performed for CIA front Brewster Jennings was evaluating Iranian nuclear capability. Alexandrovna's conclusion was cloaked in circumspection:

"The revelation that Iran was the focal point of Plame's work raises new questions as to possible other motivating factors in the White House's decision to reveal the identity of a CIA officer working on tracking a WMD supply network to Iran, particularly when the very topic of Iran's possible WMD capability is of such concern to the Administration."

Nevertheless, its meaning seems apparent to me: Alexandrovna was intimating that Cheney wanted the Brewster Jennings's cover blown before it could report that Iran was years away from posing a nuclear threat. No way would he allow Brewster Jennings to spoil his plans to attack Iran for whatever reason: oil, curbing any expansionist tendencies Iran might be entertaining, or just to put the fear of Allah into the Middle East (especially since invading Iraq served only to infuse jihadists with courage).

Some believe Cheney pulled the trigger on 9/11, or at least tried to control its aftermath by having Bush fly around in Air Force 1 while he seized his Alexander Haig post-Reagan-shooting moment ("I'm in control now"). But it might be a mistake attributing any master plans to him.

Regarding Plame, if you haven't yet, take a look at one of the smokingest -- and fun -- guns of our time: Cheney's annotated clipping (PDF averse? Skip it.) of the New York Times column in which Joseph Wilson shot down the Niger yellowcake justification for war (and made the administration look utterly foolish).

Even more than his comments at the top of the article, the passages Cheney underlined suggest a man driven more by vindictiveness than an ulterior motive.

It's not vindictive, however, but prudent, to question whether, at this point, Cheney is even capable of a master plan. In his eye-opening story in the June Vanity Fair on how Cheney's changed since he was Gerald Ford's chief of staff, Todd Purdum writes:

"The extent of his atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries, which, if it extends beyond the heart to the brain, can cause hard-to-recognize changes in cognition is unknown. Bypass surgery itself has long been associated with subtle changes in neurological function."

Even beyond a dastardly plan to take over the world or even a desire to get back at those who oppose him, Cheney's machinations may be merely the product of the foul chemicals emitted by a body decaying under a state-of-the-art defibrillator programmed to allow him to live long enough to see democracy lying in pieces at his feet.


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