As anticipation grows that Bush administration heavies will be indicted this week, there are all kinds of strong feelings.  Some, including many who read this site, are experiencing euphoria.  So this is a plea not to let these feelings cloud continuing vigiliance.

Because the Bush administration is not feeling euphoria, nor is the primary feeling now likely to be shame or repentance.  The Bush people are under increasing attack from all sides.  They are probably feeling cornered.

People, like other animals, can be very dangerous when cornered.  Especially when these people have a military.  When they have their fingers on the thermonuclear buttons.    

It’s not like this hasn’t happened before.  And only a few people perhaps prevented a political crisis from turning into a a major catastrophe.
crossposted at dkos.

The Bush adminstration is anticipating indictments of White House officials who work directly for the vice-president and the president in the coming week. There is the fear that the vice-president if not the president could be named.

 There is such a firestorm of anticipation in federal Washington and the media center of New York that even if there are no major indictments, the Bush administration is perceived as so vulnerable on this and nearly every other major issue, that attacks are more open and more savage.

The White House and G.W. Bush are cornered. That makes them potentially very dangerous. They might do something very destructive, in a conscious or unconscious effort to change the subject and rid themselves of this kind of attention.

The purpose of suggesting this possibility is to bring it into the open, so if anything weird does happen, people will realize why it’s happening, and it won’t necessarily work.

You’ve seen the stories today on just how savage things are getting. Republicans are turning on Republicans. There are other diaries detailing the charges made by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, and the anticipated devastating critique by Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to the elder Bush,which reportedly excoriates the neoconservatives behind the Iraq war and its conduct. The piece is rumored to even quote criticism from G.W. Bush’s father.

These valid critiques were valid several years ago as well, but they appear now because there is blood in the water, the administration is weak so there is less political risk in speaking out, and finally because people who weren’t ready to hear it before are listening now.

While both attacks could be seen as part of a Rovian effort to shift the blame to Cheney and away from Bush, the president is so wedded to the Iraq war, and his rhetoric so extreme recently in defending it, that there is little real separation now between their views.

If there are indictments, this could lead to an even greater scandal than Watergate. Even if the whole matter doesn’t go that far–all the way to the lies that led to war— this is still a dangerous period because it seems as if it might. We should recall the tales of President Nixon as the Watergate investigations closed in. The pressure got to him, and he became even more aggressive. Insiders apparently knew he was a heavy drinker, and allegedly while drunk, he had suggested the use of nuclear weapons.

Nixon was surrounded by dodgy characters, but there were some cooler heads among top officials who restrained him. At various times, historians assert, his secretaries of state and defense added safeguards to prevent military action being initiated on Nixon’s word alone.

But are there any such people in this administration? True believers may not be so sober in their assessments, and political cronies may not have the guts to say no.

We’ve already seen President Bush make some alarming statements and requests for action against Syria for its alleged involvement in the assassination of the Lebanon PM.

It’s widely acknowledged that this administration has used elevating the terrorist threat level, or exposing an alleged terrorist plot, for political benefit–to emphasize a point or to change the subject. We must all be on the alert for anything like this, or even worse, in the coming weeks.

We must also hope that there are sober-minded officials in this government who are truly patriotic, and not afraid to refuse to begin a tragedy beyond the ones this administration has already set in motion. We can encourage them to do the right thing by letting them know we are watching.

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