A Thousand Words


Remember this photo? This particular version is from Stephen Crowley of the New York Times–it’s part of a slideshow they’ve got up to commemorate the demise of Turdblossom. Go look through the slideshow and tell me whether you think they’re emphasizing the centrality of scandal to Rove’s tenure (there’s a hot picture of Rove and Luskin in there, for example, walking out of Prettyman).

In addition to Crowley’s, there are a number of other versions of this photo. I’ve always wondered whether the photo (all versions of it) wasn’t intended as a key to the secrets of the Administration, one the insider journalists all know the meaning of but won’t share it with us.

Indulge me, for the moment, and pretend that it is such a key. Let’s review the status of the people involved:

Scottie McClellan: Will go down in history as the least credible shill since Ron Zeigler,  Scottie had the unenviable role of telling the press that he had talked to Rove and Libby and they had assured Scottie they had nothing to do with the Plame leak. Scottie left the White House in April 20, at the same time Rove lost his policy portfolio, and just days before Karl Rove’s last appearance before the grand jury. For the record, Scottie’s departure was weepy, though not so weepy as Turdblossom’s was today.

Turdblossom: Say … did you hear that Turdblossom will be leaving the White House at the end of the month?

Scooter Libby: Libby, of course, was the first person in this picture to leave, back in October 2005 before he got his get-out-of-jail-free card. He’s now a convicted felon. Notably, Libby is the one person in this picture who’s not a member of the Texas Mafia (assuming they gave Cheney membership in his first paypacket while CEO of Halliburton).

Dan Bartlett: Remember Bartlett? He was the last member of Bush’s inner circle to step down unexpectedly, in his case at the beginning of June (not long after Rove’s right-hand chick Sara Taylor departed, it should be said). Just for kicks, look how closely Bartlett’s comments, upon stepping down, resemble Rove’s: the "spend more time with family" excuse, the focus on his long-standing ties to Bush, the denial he’ll work in any 2008 campaign. Though Bartlett, unlike Rove, isn’t going to write a book. When Bartlett left, they brought in Ed Gillespie, who has gotten the White House out of certain legal jams in the past.

Harriet Miers (she’s hiding behind Bartlett): Miers went from being glorified secretary to White House Counsel to SCOTUS nominee, but things went downhill from there. (Say, did you know Miers withdrew her name from consideration for SCOTUS just one day before Libby was indicted?) At the beginning of the year she resigned (effective the end of January), and after some time, she ended up back at the same firm she worked at before going to the White House. Like Rove, she was intimately involved in firing 9 or more US Attorneys, and also like Rove, when she was subpoenaed to appear before Congress, she refused.

Which leaves one person, in this entire photo, still employed by the White House: Dick Cheney. Now, have no idea what this photo means even if it is some kind of key to the Administration. But I find it awfully curious that Dick alone remains in this Administration.

  1. DeeLoralei in Memphis says:

    Of course unka Dick is still at the WH, he’s a constiutionally mandated elected official. No one can fire him. And why would he resign? He’s effing Rasputin to the boy king. And he still wants his war with Iran. So Darth Dicky will go out either feet first, or if the Chimperor absolutely puts his foot down about nuking Iran.

  2. prostratedragon says:

    Brings to mind all those reduction songs from childhood, or perhaps the Farewell Symphony. (And speaking of hiding, why do these folks always seem to be hiding behind a bush?)

    Somehow I think the absence of camoflage is not going to prove advantageous to The Cheese.

  3. Anonymous says:


    I actually think it might be the same bush. I’m planning a follow-up post comparing the two photos.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very telling. If only AGAG was in this picture…

    I suspect the picture also says something else in the distance between DeadEye and the rogue’s gallery.

    (Would love to know if somebody could zoom in a little closer on Miers’ documents.)

  5. Clem says:

    Is Harriet following the script as Bush delivers his remarks? Does he get a stage manager’s notes after his performances?

    Cheney’s habit of lurking in the bushes when Bush does his garden appearances has always disturbed me. He truly is Frankie Five Angels’ Sicilian brother, sitting in the back of the hearing room.

    I note that every visible brow is furrowed, too. What was going on that day?

  6. prostratedragon says:

    Would love to know if somebody could zoom in a little closer on Miers’ documents.

    At 700% in a plain viewer one needs a way to enhance or hint or something (strictly a low-level graphics hack here, not hacker). Resolution is too bad.

  7. radiofreewill says:

    7 Little Indians down: Libby, McClellan, Bartlet, Miers, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Rove

    3 to go: Gonzo, Cheney, and Bush

    We’re making slow, but steady progress!

  8. cleter says:

    They should all be in orange jumpsuits. And manacles. Rove should be strapped on one of those Hannibal Lecter dollies.

  9. Frank Probst says:

    My very unlikely dream scenario: Scooter Libby cut a deal with Fitz right after his conviction, offering to get Karl Rove on tape obstructing justice, in exchange for a reduced sentence and no further charges. Scooter calls Karl and says he’s ratting him out to Fitz if he doesn’t get a pardon. Karl says, â€Relax. We’ll have you pardoned before you spend a day in jail.†Bam! Karl’s on the hook for obstruction. Big winner: Scooter, who gets to keep his deal AND the commutation of his sentence. I can dream, can’t I?

  10. Mauimom says:

    My thought was â€small men, all of them.†[Sorry Harriet. I hope I’ll be forgiven, since we can’t really â€see†you in the picture.]

  11. Mnemosyne says:

    Two things:
    in the slide show, look at the left side of Picture #4, of Junior â€taking charge†on 9/11. You see the shoes and some of two men in dark suits, holding black briefcases. Am assuming they have the nuke codes. I know those things are always within Junior’s reach, but to see it in a picture makes the proverbial chills run down my spine.

    And: With the departure of Rove, that removes the last Bush-team impediment to Cheney’s influence. Rice is still there, but she doesn’t count, hasn’t enough clout as pushback. I hope this doesn’t mean Tricky Dick Goes to Tehran.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “And: With the departure of Rove, that removes the last Bush-team impediment to Cheney’s influence. Rice is still there, but she doesn’t count, hasn’t enough clout as pushback. I hope this doesn’t mean Tricky Dick Goes to Tehran.’’

    Mnemosyne: you and me both. I’m surprised, looking at various posts in the blogosphere, how few people seem to have noticed this possible effect of Rove’s departure. On the other hand, it occurs to me that there might now be some pressure on GWB, from GHWB perhaps among others, to take Jim Baker on as replacement for Rove. Maybe he could serve as a counterbalance to Shotgun Dick. Of course, Rove was not without his crazy ideas as well, as witness the follies of the Bush economic policy.

  13. croatoan says:

    Bartlett enlisted and shipped off to Iraq, right? I mean, he’s under the enlistment ceiling and he supports the war, so of course he’d volunteer to serve his country, right?

  14. Quzi says:

    Good riddance to the Beached Whale, and don’t let the door hit your @ss on the way out…

    How Dead-Eye Dick is still standing is unfathomable…

    I’m with Veritas78 on the RICO indictment.

    EW — I’ve missed your blog lately…too much overtime for me these days. I’ll be back though.

  15. orionATL says:

    libby is the odd face out in the group;

    he looks distinctly unhealthy or troubled.

    the rest of the boys look like members at a tappa tappa keg reunion.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Masaccio – Not yet. All hell broke lose here last night. 112 all day, then giant monsoon thunderstorm at night. Took a lightning strike to one of the air conditioning units on my roof. Major issues….. When I glanced at the decision as it was printing out, it sure looked interesting. Not necessarily in a good way, but very interesting. I am pretty interested in taking a good look at this stuff; especially in conjunction with the hearing set for tomorrow at 9th Circuit SF Courthouse.

  17. Neil says:

    Cheney is the last man standing. How long will it take Cheney to provoke Iran into a military conflict? I wish our Democratic leaders Congress would impeach him for the last war he started on fraudulent intelligence.