Rice Watch Day 11

Or should it be Cheney-watch? Via Matt Yglesias, I find this story in Slate’s Chatterbox. The title of Noah’s piece is somewhat misleading: Did Condi Give the Game Away? Her Yellowcakegate alibi doesn’t add up, because Noah’s real target is not Rice, but Dick Cheney. Why Cheney?

Tenet knew that his complaint [about the unreliability of the African Uranium story] was not a command and that somebody at the White House still needed convincing. But who would have the standing to tell the CIA director to go jump in the lake? Surely not Fall Guy No. 2, the National Security Council’s nonproliferation expert, Robert Joseph. Surely not Fall Guy No. 3, the NSC’s deputy, Steve Hadley. And surely not even Fall Person No. 4, Condi Rice.

By application of the Wobble Method, Noah concludes that Cheney is responsible. But the Rice Watch will continue. Bush can’t fire Cheney, and Cheney resigning to pursue other interests is simply not even a remote possibility. So let’s suppose thet Noah is right and that Cheney insisted on knowingly citing questionable intelligence in the SOTU for the sole purpose of bolstering the case for war. If the pressure on Cheney turns up, Rice will be the perfect scapegoat, regardless of whether she, or Cheney, is truly to blame.