I see a flotilla of trial balloons, setting out a bunch of possible defensive lines to see which is the most viable.
First, we have the SOTU, with its delightful syntax conflating “program-related activities” with heinous skullduggery. Coupled with the bare-faced assertion that more time is needed to be certain of the facts. I figure this is offered more in hope than anything else: if the people will buy this sack o’ shit, no further embarrassment need be suffered.
Then there is the Kay ploy. I think Kay was allowed, perhaps even encouraged, to be harshly critical in order to establish his bona fides and erase the image of him grinning and eager to begin his mission, promising “surprises”. In order to use him, they must first erase the image of him as a Bushivik “team player.”
He then proceeds to criticize the intelligence community, a move in the direction of dumping this all on the CIA. At the same instance, we have GeeDubya expressing his faith in the “intelligence community”, appearing loyal to his embattled minions. Depending on how well Kay’s criticism goes over, he can move ahead or back off without much cost. His call for Congressional investigation looks and sounds stern, but he knows as well as we who runs Congress. This would be like calling for a thorough investigation of Enron by Arthur Anderson’s accountants.
The we have Condi’s ploy: fog of war, looters destroyed all the evidence. But this buggers the question. Did the looters know they were destroying such vital evidence? How did they find it? Or did they just destroy everything? And why? Looters act for profit, no? Why waste your time destroying documents? And if they did know they had incriminating documents, wouldn’t they know as well that such were pure gold, that the Americans would shower them with green cards, money, and lap dances from J Lo if they could turn them over?
Then, of course, looming in the background is taking the “hang-out route”: yes, we were totally wrong, but wrong for the right reason. If you do something totally wrong and it works out, its because you are brilliant. This is like drawing one card to an inside straight after betting all your money and your ass as well. If you are lucky enough to draw the card, you are lucky. But drawing to an inside straight is stupid. They have a special name for people like that, they are called “losers”.
Then, of course, there is the “take no prisoners” approach used by Cheney, when he insisted against all evidence that the Dreaded Trailers of Doom were just what he said they were. Its not likely that the public at large will buy such blatant crapola, but what can it hurt? Its just another quote from Cheney, we’ve already got baskets full of BS.
They will watch closely, run a few polls, and see which of these party lines will prove least damaging. And then that will become the Truth.
So these are all feelers, trying to gauge which will result in the least damage.