Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense, and one of the main architects of the Iraq War abruptly announced his resignation on January 26, 2005. He said he wanted to spend more time with his family -- if you still believe this is true when anyone leaving politics says it, I have a war in Iraq to sell you. When pressed further he said, "I don't have any definite plans. I just have some notions." Loosely translated that means -- I just got thrown under the bus and I haven't even had time to come up with a halfway decent excuse.
The man who was number three at the Pentagon, who orchestrated the gathering of (questionable) intelligence on Iraq at the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Unit and who planned the post-war occupation at the Office of Special Plans didn't just want to leave his immensely powerful job for absolutely no reason. He didn't even have a plan of where to go next. This was clearly not his decision.
Now, why did the White House tell Feith on January 26th he had to go? This is a White House who hasn't fired a single loyal soldier. And there was no one more loyal than Feith (to the administration at least, if not his country). What was so important that drove them to fire one of their own?
Whatever it is, it will come out one day. And when it does, the White House will say, "Oh, that's no problem. Douglas Feith left this administration a long time ago." Whether that will be a sufficient excuse remains to be seen, but it seems clear to me that's what they have set up.
I'm going to confess to not having a lot of inside sources in Washington. That leaves me in the position of asking journalists who do, to look into this further. My guess is that they wouldn't have fired a guy like Feith over a small matter. That whatever made them panic that day is worthy of panicking over.
Also, if they were going to make Feith the scapegoat, they would have done that publicly. They would have blamed everything on him so that they could pretend to have solved the problem. But since they said nothing about him publicly, it’s logical to assume the purpose of his firing wasn’t scapegoating, it was something we haven’t learned yet. Something that is still buried inside the White House.
They fired no one over the Valerie Plame scandal and that's proven to be a giant scandal. What could be so much bigger as to warrant a preemptive strike against one of top insiders in the administration? Whatever it is, it's a ticking time bomb inside the White House. The journalist who uncovers it first wins. They get to be the Bob Woodward of their generation and eventually write the fluff book on the Jeb Bush presidency.