As Fitzgerald is likely to wrap up his investigation this week over Plame-gate, and the rumors are circulating that at least one indictment will be handed down, we get great quotes from Bush, saying that Fitzgerald's leak probe is very serious, and that Fitzgerald is conducting his investigation in a "very dignified way." Meanwhile, Bush allies begin undermining the investigation, denigrating possible indictments if they're based on perjury rather than on the crime for which the investigation took place, and suggesting that Fitzgerald is overzealous, even out of control.
1) I can't help but note the hypocrisy involved given the position these folks took during the Lewinsky scandal, when they supported the investigation. Even though there, the indictment was over something that had absolutely nothing to do with the original Whitewater investigation. Even though Starr was appointed by Republicans to investigate a Democrat, as opposed to here, where Fitzgerald was appointed by Republicans to investigate a Republican. Even though Starr spent $70+ million on his far-flung investigation, while Fitzgerald hasn't even spent $1 million. Even though the release of Plame's status, for political purposes, could very well have cost the lives of people who have worked for or with U.S. intelligence, while I'm still not sure how the blue dress affected the American people.
2) Haven't we seen this act before? The President acts all dignified while his allies, deputies, cronies, hatchetmen, aides, and advisors all work behind the scenes, smearing the opposition. It was only a year ago that the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" did their Kerry smear, funded by Bush's allies, while Bush did his dignified "I respect the service Kerry did for his country" shtick. If indictments are forthcoming, especially if Rove or Cheney are among those indicted, I expect such things to come at Fitzgerald full throttle. From what I've read, he's a cool customer and anything but partisan, but that would be unlikely to stop such a campaign.
Get ready -- if indictments come down, they'll only be the end of the first part of a very long and very messy book.