We learned this week that, even though White House counsel Fred Fielding had advised him that the Libby jury had reached a reasonable verdict, the president decided to commute Libby's sentence because if he didn't "it would have caused a fracture with the vice president." So Scooter got off because George Bush was afraid to piss off Dick Cheney. Is the same dynamic driving the president on Iraq? Are the efforts of administration pragmatists like Robert Gates and Condi Rice to shift the White House on the war being thwarted by 43's reluctance to face the wrath of his venomous veep? There's a scary thought: Americans continue to die in Iraq not because Bush is worried withdrawal would embolden al-Qaeda over there but because it would infuriate al-Cheney here at home.