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A Ticking Time Bomb Inside the White House

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December 8, 2005

By Mollie Bradley-Martin

Scandal fatigue may have already set in. With Scooter Libby, David Safavian, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Larry Franklin, Michael Scanlon and Jack Abramoff all either on trial, heading to trial, or cutting deals in order to shorten their stay in the pokey, it's hard to imagine that there is still corruption yet unearthed.

Ongoing investigations by Congress, the FBI, CIA, Federal Prosecutors and the Justice Department are looking into Bill Frist, Karl Rove, Stephen Hadley, David Wurmser, Denny Hastert, Tom Noe, Bob Ney... the list seems endless. With so many sleazy players, it's hard to know where to focus attention.

The lack of accountability in Washington DC is staggering, and Congress's refusal to carry out, much less complete an investigation into the deceptions and crimes of the Bush administration may result in his term being up long before articles of impeachment are ever even considered.

It seems that Congress is suffering from scandal fatigue as well, and they were already tired from all of the effort expended in covering their own butts. The disease-ridden leviathan that is the Bush administration may simply be too big a beast for 100 Senators and 435 Representatives to slay without running out of steam.

Cenk Uygur wrote Tuesday at The Huffington Post that there is "a ticking time bomb inside the White House" and the forced resignation of Douglas Feith in January may be the fuse. Feith resigned because "he wanted to spend more time with his family," but he left his office just after it was revealed that the FBI was investigating his subordinate, Lawrence Franklin, for espionage. Feith had already been caught setting up meetings for Lawrence Franklin with Italian intelligence director Nicolo Pollari and Manucher Ghorbanifar (the upstanding global citizen who helped set up the arms-for-hostages deal that sparked the Iran-Contra scandal). Only the principals and the flies on the wall know what was cooked up during those meetings but the forged Niger documents suddenly solved all of the problems most likely discussed amongst this motley crew.

There seems to be a nexus between Special Council Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the CIA leak and Lawrence Franklin who is currently being prosecuted on an espionage charge, resulting from his passing of classified documents to the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC). Franklin left the White House a mere day before he was arrested in hopes of limiting the bad press for Bush and Company. Only in the bizarro world in which we now live would this actually work, but there has been little attention paid to the Franklin case outside the lefty blogosphere.

These two investigations come together in Italy, with the emergence of the forged Niger documents. Patrick Fitzgerald has shown interest in the forged documents and how they relate to the retaliatory outing of covert operative Valerie Plame, and Franklin is known to have met with intelligence agents in Italy where the documents first surfaced. Curious indeed!

The other connection between the two investigations comes with the prosecutors themselves. Larry Franklin is being prosecuted by Paul McNulty, who was nominated by Bush mere weeks ago to serve as the number two man at the Justice Department. This is not only the carrot on the stick enticing McNulty to make a deal with Franklin, thereby limiting the damage of an espionage conviction of White House staff, but it also has the added benefit of installing McNulty as Fitzgeralds's boss. It's amazing how this administration is able to land on its feet at every turn. The clock is ticking and again the salvation of our democracy seems to rest on the shoulders of our superhero prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. If he can prove (as it is certain he has already figured out) the origins of the forged documents and can unravel the neo-con conspiracy that drove American forces into Iraq before Paul McNulty can be confirmed by the Senate and installed as his new boss, we may actually see the end of the Bush administration before the 2008 elections.

Doug Feith is the fuse and with the help of the FBI, Fitzgerald may be able to strike the match and blow this whole criminal regime out of our White House.



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