Scooter Libby: The Aspen Papers

Now that Scooter Libby is the first guy to fall through Fitzgerald's trap door, we can at least understand one of the many cryptic mysteries of the Valerie Plame leak case. The letter Libby wrote Judith Miller ("the aspens are turning now out west. Their roots are knotted and grow together") was not, as conspiracy theorists speculated, a message in code to Miller meant to influence her legal strategy. Nor was it, as some might have thought after Bill Keller's suggestive use of the word 'entanglement' in his email to New York Times staff about Millers relationship with Libby, some sly pornographic reference to the First Amendment heroine's pubic hair.

It was the voice of Libby the novelist...already turning his thoughts to how his life would change after his career ended with an indictment. Even as he had his game face on, Libby was gazing longingly at the view of the aspens Out West from the minds eye, of "that little patch of blue that prisoners call the sky."

As for poor Harriet Miers, all I can think of is her 91-year-old mother, watching her daughter get stomped on by the whole athletes' foot brigade of the religious right.