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Fitzgerald vs. the Bush Administration



It is hard not to be elated over what seem to be imminent indictments resulting from this whole Valerie Plame/CIA leak. Is it going to be Scooter Libby, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney? Perhaps all three? It is impossible to say at this point, but as Jason Leopold and John Byrne recently reported over at, indictments of at least two people are likely if the grand jury approves Patrick Fitzgerald’s charges. We should know by the end of the week at the latest, they say. If this is indeed the case and the grand jury gives Fitz the green light to proceed, the Bush administration will surely take another huge hit in the polls.

This may all seem like very good news for those that despise this administration and its policies. Any indictments will certainly shed new light on the corruption of the intel leading up to the Iraq invasion. It’s been rumored that those indicted will likely resign from their White House posts. But before you get too excited about a potential Bush collapse and a Rove resignation, let’s not forget that their accomplices, many of the same folks so excited about the potential charges, will still be lurking.

If Republican power topples in the next few years, the party waiting in line to replace them has no plan to change the crooked course in Iraq. The enabling Democrats aren’t about to be held accountable for embracing the scandalous neocon agenda, either.

Even if the Democrats miraculously take back the Senate and make in-roads in the House of Representatives in the 2006 mid-term elections, nothing in Iraq will change.

The neocon policies will persevere.

The Democrats complicity in the Iraq saga goes much deeper than their willful support of Bush’s war resolution in 2002. How soon we forget that back in 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act ­ drafted by the same Republican hawks that helped thrust forth Bush’s own Iraq policy including; Republican staffer Randy Scheunemann, Donald Rumsfeld, former-CIA director R. James Woosley, and Ahmad Chalabi.

As I discuss in greater detail in Left Out!, Clinton’s legislation outlined the US’s ultimate objective for its involvement in Iraq. That is, to remove Saddam and overthrow his government. When Clinton signed his legislation into law in mid-October 1996, Republican Senator Trent Lott sang his praises: “The Clinton administration regularly calls for bipartisanship in foreign policy. I support them when I can. Today, we see a clear example of a policy that has the broadest possible bi-partisan support. I know the Administration understands the depth of our feeling on this issue.”

Despite Lott’s gratitude, Iraq wasn’t just a Republican issue ­ the Democrat’s had also long propagated falsehoods about Saddam’s potential WMD threat.

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear,” President Clinton admitted in February of 1998. “We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”

In a letter to President Clinton, Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry among others wrote in October of 1998, “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”

The Iraq invasion isn’t just about the Democrats buying into Bush’s propaganda. Despite popular belief, the Dems had not been duped. The illegal invasion of Iraq was a result of a concert of bi-partisan lies that spewed from the US government over many years. The Democrats were and are just as responsible for the bloodthirsty deceptions as the Republicans.

So sure, we can be excited about the potential hit the Bush regime is about to take from Patrick Fitzgerald. We have to be grateful when we can. But just keep in mind as you celebrate, that the Plame ordeal and the fallout of indictments aren’t going to rein in all of the bad guys.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at Joshua can be reached at


JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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