WASHINGTON, Oct. 21
Could this really, truly be the last weekend EVER in which members of the Gang of 500 have versions of the following conversation over and over?
Gang Member 1: "What do you know?"
Gang Member 2: "Nothing."
Gang Member 1: "Nobody knows anything."
Gang Member 2: "So, Rove, Libby, or both?"
(Gang Members 1 and 2 proceed to have a 10-minute talk about who might be indicted and on what charges; what indictments would mean for Administration personnel and policy decisions; who the President is talking to about all this; whether there will be pardons; if they know anyone who has ever met John Hannah; what's-up with Judy Miller and the New York Times; why Tate let Libby send that letter; and if Patrick Fitzgerald reads the newspapers and/or online political digests/tipsheets.)
Gang Member 1: "But, really, nobody knows anything."
Gang Member 2: "Nobody knows anything."
If you haven't read the Big Four newspapers' Friday leak stories already, you in fact at this moment DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, and are far, far behind the game. All four pieces are must-reads and detailed in full below. But for the busy Note-reader-on-the-go, the shorthand:
The Los Angeles Times: LINK
Casual reader take-away: Scooter Libby was obsessed with Joe Wilson, suggesting possible motive.
Inside reader take-away: Does the White House (that is, Lynne Cheney) know who leaked all of this "private" data, including (oh. . . my. . . goodness) Liz Cheney's Blackberry messages.
An Administration official tells ABC News' Karen Travers: "It's silly to rehash what was a well known dust up with one reporter on one trip. Many reporters and producers have been aboard AF2 -- including (gasp) the New York Times. Old info."
The Washington Post: LINK
Casual reader take-away: The White House is in fact braced for indictments and possibly losing the services of Karl C. Rove, but is also planning to fight back if that seems fitting and proper.
Inside reader take-away: History might record that 9/11 job lock produced the burnout that set the Bush presidency down its current path.
The New York Times:
Casual reader take-away: The cover-up is (still) always worse than the crime.
Inside reader take-away: The entire Old Media now consider at least some indictments a mortal lock, with all the body language leaning towards some of the more nuclear scenarios.
The Wall Street Journal:
Casual reader take-away: The Espionage Act might be of more interest to Fitzgerald than the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
Inside reader take-away: We can't wait for Robert Luskin's first major interview or article (or book!!!) explaining his media strategy in this case.
As for another "lawyer familiar with the investigation," Joseph A. Tate -- our colleague Jon Karl actually got him on the telephone yesterday. And we hope that this is the last week for this kind of thing too:
ABC News: "Mr. Tate?"
ABC News: "This is Jonathan Karl with ABC News --
TATE: "No. I'm not talking. Thanks." (Click.)
The grand jury investigating the leak is scheduled to meet this morning at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC. There are big stakeouts, but it isn't clear if Fitzgerald or any witnesses are showing up today, and most reports suggests that nothing public will occur today. But there sure is a lot of interest in what might happen Monday at Fitzgerald's office.