MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to the situation here in Washington, the CIA leak investigation, very much tied in obviously to the war in Iraq and the way it was presented to the American people. And bringing you all back to September 30, George Bush addressing the American people and he said this.
(Videotape, September 30, 2003):
PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.
MR. RUSSERT: Now, one week later, Scott McClellan was asked specifically about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby whether they had been involved in disseminating information about Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, and this is what Mr. McClellan said.
(Videotape, October 7, 2003):
MR. SCOTT McCLELLAN: They are good individuals. They're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt with that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you. And that's exactly what I did.
MR. RUSSERT: "They were not involved." Senator Allen, is that statement still operative?
SEN. ALLEN: I don't know. I wasn't in any of the grand jury investigations, and I think that from what you're saying and most indications is the prosecutor, special prosecutor Fitzgerald, will be coming out with whatever the resolution of those grand jury investigations are. So I don't know what the testimony is, what the evidence is, and I guess we'll find out sometime this week.
MR. RUSSERT: Based what's in the public domain from Judith Miller when she wrote in The New York Times and others have said publicly, do you believe that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby discussed Joseph Wilson's trip and his wife's employment at the CIA?
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Schumer, there's been a widespread discussion that this is bigger than just Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame and White House aides; that it really goes to the core of the Iraq War, what cases were made to the American people about weapons of mass destruction and other systems and other analyses and other intelligence data. Based on what you now know today, do you regret having voted for the war?
MR. RUSSERT: And we are back.
Frank Rich in New York, let me start with you and read for you and our viewers your column from this very Sunday morning in The New York Times: Headline: "Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure. For Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush to get what they wanted most, slam-dunk midterm election victories, and for Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney to get what they wanted most, a war in Iraq for reasons predating 9/11, their real whys for going to war had to be replaced by fictional, more salable ones. We wouldn't be invading Iraq to further Rovian domestic politics or neocon ideology; we'd be doing so instead because there was a direct connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda and because Saddam was on the verge of attacking America with nuclear weapons. The facts and intelligence had to be fixed to create these whys; any contradictory evidence had to be dismissed or suppressed. ...Should Mr. Libby and Mr. Rove have lied to investigators or a grand jury in their panic, [Special Prosecutor Patrick] Fitzgerald will bring charges. But that crime would seem a misdemeanor ext to the fables that they and their bosses fed the nation and the world as the whys for invading Iraq."
Frank Rich, you're suggesting that the war in Iraq is much on trial as perhaps individual behavior may be.
Isn't it fun when you know (beyond anyone's imagination) the truth?? I think Tim Russert ought to get an Emmy for this broadcast . . . whad ya think?
Libby's testimony stated that Rove had told him about his contact with Novak and that Libby had told Rove about information he had gotten about Wilson's wife from NBC's Tim Russert, according to a person familiar with the information shown to Rove.
Prosecutors, however, have a different account from Russert. The network has said Russert told authorities he did not know about Wilson's wife's identity until it was published and therefore could not have told Libby about it.
Prosecutors also have evidence that Libby initiated the call with Russert and had initiated similar contact with another reporter, Judith Miller of The New York Times, several weeks earlier. Miller was jailed for 85 days before agreeing to testify before the grand jury.
Little Russ And The Prosecutor
This morning's Plame/Rove leak investigation developments make it appear that NBC's Sunday star Tim Russert, who has long been known to be a bit player in the saga, might actually end up proving to have a decisive role in the case.
No matter your income level . . . you can afford to pay attention.