Thus, Cheney's notes would have read "not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others." The words "this Pres." were crossed out and replaced with "that was," but are still clearly legible in the document.
The reference to "the meat grinder" was understood to be the Washington press corps, Wells said. The "protect one staffer" reference, Wells said, was White House Political Adviser Karl Rove, whose own role in the leak and the attacks on Wilson are well documented.
Furthermore, Cheney, in his directive to McClellan that day in September 2003, wrote that the White House spokesman needed to immediately "call out to key press saying the same thing about Scooter as Karl."
Cheney was pissed about his having to sacrifice Libby for Karl, but went along with it to protect the President. Since the sharks continue to circle, they seem to be willing to throw another piece of food into the drink to forestall their own inevitable demise.
The White House acknowledged on Sunday that presidential adviser Karl Rove served as a conduit for complaints to the Justice Department about federal prosecutors who were later fired for what critics charge were partisan political reasons.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Rove had relayed complaints from Republican officials and others to the Justice Department and the White House counsel's office. She said Rove, the chief White House political operative, specifically recalled passing along complaints about former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias and may have mentioned the grumblings about Iglesias to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.