They're, in effect, defying the legal machinery of the USofA. The CREW Blog has a piece up on the late-nite reply of the Regime to a law-suit seeking to discover information in the WhiteHouse about certain apparent ethical improprieties involving the desruction of certain historical, and Congressionally protected documents and records. According to CREW, they've effectively admitted to everything: Plame, tapes, torture, spying, everything. And they're saying: "So you gonna try to make sumpin of it, punk?"
The Bush Cabal is basically saying "Here's the final (or maybe only the peri-semi-demi-hemi-penultimate) insult, you poor mopes!" They know that if legal action against them is not brought by the end of this year, '08--and really, unless the complaints are in the system before about the 1st of July--it never will be brought, because whomsoever gains the Office will be waaaaay to busy trying to fix the incredible complex of crises the Bush Cabal will have left (hopefully) for the new incumbent. Inevitably, the in-coming President must mumble the pro-forma absolutions, claim the mandate to 'look forward, not back,' raise the flag of bi-partisan get-along, and back off.
That, and the inevitable, albeit usually tacit, understanding among the inhabitants of that sphere of action, like: 'hey, you do what you gotta fuckin' do. You'll see.' There will be considerable outrage, but not ever enough to actually bring any of them up on charges. And that presumes that the Chimperor wouldn't issue wholesale pardons throughout the out-going (hopefully) regimistas.
There is one distinguishing characteristic of this gang of thugs and gunsels: mostly they seem to have unconquerable 'poker faces.' They don't blink when are caught in a lie; they smile and go on as if they were still telling you the truth, and you would still believe them. They're like car salespeople (although that stretches the notion of 'people' pretty much to the breaking point). Or, more, really, they're more like a a bunch of brutal tinhorn gamblers, swilling power, bragging, and playing cards, with pistols on the table. It is perhaps not an accident that the tenure of the Bushevik Cabal was accompanied by the rise to public attention of no-limit, Texas Hold-em, a game at which a bully has a 'natural' advantage.
You watch Bush. He's got that archetypal "bully" primp. When he speaks, his verbal mannerisms and the constant assault of hideous malapropisms tend to disguise the postural things he does, always as if to say, "Okay, you think you're so tough, you take a swing at me. Right, fellas?" If Bush is a bully, and he is, then Cheney's just one damn bad dude. Vicious, utterly without scruple, principle, or honor. Would do (probably has done) ANYTHING to have his way. That guy Addington should go kayaking on the Potomac and have an accident. The whole rest of the regime is a circus of asswipes, boot-lickers, sycophants, and clowns, along with a compliment of 'soldiers', or made men/women.
And I am STILL not in ANYWAY certain that they actually intend to give all this up.