Russert and Libby could both be wrong - and both right

Thursday, February 08, 2007
Clarice's American Thinker article on Russert's very very hot seat problem can be found here. There you will get the juicy details of Russert's memory problem and a surprise issue that had Fitz slumping in his chair, studying the jury for their reaction (as reported by Kristinn at FR H/T Carol in JOM comments.)

As for the matter of whether Russert said xxxxx to Libby? I'm STILL not sure what is meant by the xxxxx. The indictment indicates 'Wilson's wife' rather than 'Valery Plame' and 'sending on trip' is in there. Russert is convinced he didn't know her name or her position until he read Novak's article. Fitz, I think, got him to say that she wasn't discussed at all. In fact, Russert is reported to have testified 'Impossible' in regards to his telling Libby anything. Wells will make Russert eat that word tomorrow, I'm sure. Part of it is in crumbs already.

Wells already hinted at where he will go when he asked Russert if he reasoned backwards to reach the conclusion that he told Libby nufink. And that is the process that was used in a televised confab with Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell, and David Gregory on CNBC where they discussed what they would have done if they had had the information before the Novak article. I'm wondering if a transcript of that confab (which I can't find right now) will show up in the trial.

I think it's very possible that Russert knew that Wilson's wife was CIA. He didn't know her name. Didn't know her position. Didn't know she was involved in sending hubby to Niger. In fact I think the 'sending' part was the big surprise to them on reading Novak's article...not the fact she was CIA.

Andrea says everyone sniffing around about this knew Wilson's wife was CIA (she later retracted) and Ari Fleischer testified that he leaked that information to David Gregory--which doesn't seem to have been explored. Mitchell and Gregory work for Russert. If they knew, he knew.

So we have Libby claiming Russert told him that Wilson's wife was CIA and sent him on the mission.

We have Russert who probably knew Wilson's wife was CIA and that's all he knew at that time.

So how could they be both wrong and both right?

Russert says something like:

On the ambassador thing? My reporters are saying Wilson's wife is CIA and CIA sent Wilson to Niger, not Cheney. Heard anything about that?

Because Libby knows a bit more, Libby HEARS:

On the ambassador thing? My reporters are saying Wilson's wife is CIA and sent Wilson to Niger, not Cheney. Heard anything about that?

Russert's wrong about saying nothing and Libby's wrong about what Russert said. Russert's right that he didn't know the wife sent hubby and didn't tell Libby that and Libby's right that Russert said reporter's are talking about Wilson's wife.

I think Libby was surprised to hear about the reporters and it took him back and he did his own conflating about the sending. Heaven knows there's been enough conflation going around, let's let Libby get some benefit from it too.

It didn't have to go exactly like that, but you get the idea. And since the next day Rove supposedly told Libby that Novak told him about Wilson's wife bon voyaging hubby, it was reinforced in Libby's mind that reporters knew it and were passing it around.

Whaddya think?


Syl said...

I think Russert has only convinced himself he didn't know mrs. wilson was CIA. He admits he has no memory of the conversation, he's just sure he didn't know nufink until Novak.

It's possible russert had NO idea she was involved in sending him--but he knew where she worked.

If russert told libby reporters are telling him she's cia and then says something about cia sending wilson, not cheney? true? It's conceivable that Libby would HEAR reporters wife cia sent. WOW!

Then, being careful not to confirm something Russert didn't tell him anyway, he'd hem and haw and not get clarification.

That's the way it went.

Damn. I'm sure of it.

terrye said...

Yes, I think this could be right. After events unfold things look differently to us, it is almost impossible to see them in real time again.

I think there was a lot of speculating and gossiping going on in that town and some of it was closer to the mark than they really realized at the time. In retrospect it looks like something else.

This whole thing reminds me of that old Whose of First routine Abbot and Costello used to do way back when.

David Thomson said...

"Whaddya think?"

I think that Scooter Libby is a white, Jewish Republican being tried in a black Democrat cultural milieu. In other words, the odds of his being found not guilty are only 50-50. This case would not have even gone to trial in most areas of the country.

ex-democrat said...

"Whaddya think?"

- that we should be watching Joe Wilson being tried for sedition.