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Monday, February 27, 2006

Dick to Withdraw? 

Courtesy of our stouthearted colleagues at Memeorandum: A new poll shows that a shriveling minority of Americans, barely one in three, now approves of the job Mr. Bush is trying so valiantly, and failing so miserably, to do. Mr. Bush, however, is famously inerrant, and it is therefore necessary to find a scapegoat for the low esteem in which the White House is currently held. Who better than the snarling, demented, mendacious, shotgun-toting sociopath who actually runs the place? From the Moonie Times supplement Insight on the News (and the mere fact of the venue in which the item below appeared should tell you how far Crack-Shot Cheney's star has fallen):
Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to retire within a year.

Senior GOP sources envision the retirement of Mr. Cheney in 2007, months after the congressional elections. The sources said Mr. Cheney would be persuaded to step down as he becomes an increasing political liability to President Bush.

The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney's failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president's hunting colleague earlier this month. The White House didn't learn of the incident until 18 hours later . . . .

Mr. Cheney's next crisis could take place by the end of the year, the sources said. They said the White House was expecting Mr. Cheney to defend himself against charges from his former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, that the vice president ordered him to relay classified information. Such a charge could lead to a congressional investigation and even impeachment proceedings.
His impetuous decision to fire a load of birdshot into the face, neck, and chest of the aged, scrawny, and obsequious Harry Whittington has not done much for Cheney's numbers (18% in the poll above) except in Texas, where the state motto is time for one more drink before we start shootin'! It did, however, distract attention from the NSA domestic-surveillance scandal, and Mr. Bush's blithe, bold admission that he had repeatedly committed an impeachable offense and planned to keep on doing so. However, we suspect the Dump Dick movement is gaining most of its momentum from the Libby scandal mentioned above. As we mentioned yesterday, the White House, after a subtle nudging by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, miraculously discovered some 250 White House emails previously thought to have been eaten by Barney, the President's dog. The AP buried this significant revelation deep in a story about Scooter Libby's document requests, but thanks to our venerated colleague Melissa at Shakespeare's Sister, we are able to bring you Jason Leopold's more detailed account:
The White House turned over last week 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Senior aides had sent the emails in the spring of 2003 related to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald revealed during a federal court hearing Friday.

The emails are said to be explosive, and may prove that Cheney played an active role in the effort to discredit Plame Wilson’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence, sources close to the investigation said.

Sources close to the probe said the White House “discovered” the emails two weeks ago and turned them over to Fitzgerald last week. The sources added that the emails could prove that Cheney lied to FBI investigators when he was interviewed about the leak in early 2004. Cheney said that he was unaware of any effort to discredit Wilson or unmask his wife’s undercover status to reporters.

Cheney was not under oath when he was interviewed. He told investigators how the White House came to rely on Niger documents that purportedly showed that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country.

Cheney said he had received an intelligence briefing on the allegations in either December 2001 or January 2002.

Cheney said he was unaware that Ambassador Wilson was chosen to travel to Niger to look into the uranium claims, and that he never saw a report Wilson had given a CIA analyst upon his return which stated that the Niger claims were untrue. He said the CIA never told him about Wilson's trip.

However, the emails say otherwise, and will show that the vice president spearheaded an effort in March 2003 to attack Wilson’s credibility and used the CIA to dig up information on the former ambassador that could be used against him, sources said.

Some of the emails that were turned over to Fitzgerald contained references to Plame Wilson's identity and CIA status, and developments related to the inability of ground forces to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after the start of the war in March 2003.
Next question: if Cheney does walk the plank, who takes over the day-to-day business of running the government? The replacement veep will undoubtedly be the presumptive favorite to take the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

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