'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, February 13, 2004

Fear and Loathing in the White House

I love the headline on this NYT report, "Anxiety Takes Hold of Presidential Aides Caught Up in Leak Inquiry":

At a White House that has largely avoided scandal — and one that has been distinguished by remarkable internal cohesion — the escalating investigation has brought unusual personal stress and the uncertainties that afflict anyone caught up in a full-scale criminal inquiry.

Some White House officials, concerned about what the investigation might mean for themselves or their bosses, have been pumping reporters for information about what they know. Others, so far untouched by the investigation, are sighing with relief.

But like any institution caught up in a criminal inquiry, this one appears intent on getting on with business as usual, and avoiding the spectacle of colleagues' turning on colleagues, even as investigators turn up the pressure.

"The mood is concern, not worry," said one Republican with close ties to the White House. "It's attention, not fear. And so far it hasn't caused any dysfunctional relationships to crop up."

Someone's gonna crack ... I love the part about White House staffer's "pumping" reporters ... "So, uh, let me ask you a few questions ... Um ... am I going to jail?"...

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