CREDIBILITY: IS THERE A LOWER NUMBER THAN ZERO?
Frank Rich today, writing about Dick Cheney's recent CNN interview:
The vice president's on-camera crackup reflected his understandable fear that a White House cover-up was crumbling. He knew that sworn testimony in a Washington courtroom would reveal still more sordid details about how the administration lied to take the country into war in Iraq. He knew that those revelations could cripple the White House's current campaign to escalate that war and foment apocalyptic scenarios about Iran.
I guess most of you would agree with this, but I don't. I think the administration's credibility with regard to how it justified the war was completely, utterly shot well before the trial began (except among dogged Bush loyalists), and nothing that's come out (or that will come out) can sink the Bushies' reputation any lower.
On the other hand, nothing short of the removal from office of Bush and Cheney is going to stop these guys if they want to attack Iran -- they'll bypass a funding cutoff by sneaking money out of some other budget if that's what it takes, they'll use the Israelis as proxies ... whatever. If they want to do this, they'll do it. Maybe the military can prevail upon them to back off; maybe bad polls will stop them, or howls of agony from congressional Republicans who fear that more war will make 2008 even worse for them than 2006. But none of that is going to be the result of what comes out in the Libby trial. Their credibility is already shot.