RUSH: I want to get back to Valerie Plame, the CIA leak, and the Fitzgerald investigation because it is tied in here with a couple phone calls we’ve received today — and also, strangely enough, I believe it’s tied in with the whole Larry Wilkerson issue, not his speech and not him personally but the whole mind-set that exists. There is an apparatus of liberal apparatchiks in the United States government who have made it their job to take out George W. Bush. They’ve made it their objective to destroy his presidency, and I don’t care whether it’s guys at the state department or at the Pentagon or the CIA or trying to do it or whether it’s Joe Wilson, that is what is at stake here — and the effort being made by the mainstream press to pile on here and accomplish this, while at the same time worrying about whether Saddam Hussein gets a fair trial, is just a bit much to take. So I want you to hear the latest examples of the outrageous and egregious overstepping of bounds that’s taking place on cable TV. Here is how Chris Matthews opened Hardball last night.
MATTHEWS: Tonight on Hardball, we try to figure it out, again, if people in the Bush administration crossed the line, separating political hardball, tough clean Machiavellian politics and criminality. We’re led tonight to the cutting edge of the news coverage to that unsavory tandem of questions, “What did the president know and when did he know it?”
RUSH: Oh, yeah Chris, let’s go back and try to recreate Watergate. Let’s go back to the glory days, exactly what I’ve told you, the entirety of the Bush administration to these people is Watergate. There was a voice of reason that Matthews had on last night, Deborah Orin from the New York Post. Matthews says, “What do you make of this whole thing! Right up until this conversation, right now! What do you make of it, Deborah?”
ORIN: I think the important thing to remember is how much we don’t know. The Washington Post had a really, I thought, interesting editorial — this is, after all, the paper that broke Watergate — saying, “Whoa! Hold on, everybody. We do not know any laws were broken. We do know that some hardball politics was played, but that’s legal in this town,” and the most important thing we don’t know is the original source for the identity of Joe Wilson’s wife. I mean, we don’t know who Bob Novak’s first source was. We know Novak has said that it was no partisan gun slinger. That means it was obviously not Rove, and presumably not Libby, either, and presumably not the latest name on the rumor mill, John Hannon, none of them — all of them — are partisan. So I think once you — and that’s the central thing. That is where the original leak to the press came from. We’re all jumping to an awful lot of conclusions.
RUSH: It has been learned because there are people talking. Apparently lawyers for some of the people who have testified, when Rove went in there, for his last time, he was shown testimony from Scooter Libby, and Scooter Libby, I think, if I got this right said that he told Rove — or Rove said he found about it from Scooter Libby and Scooter Libby said he found out about it from Tim Russert! Scooter Libby said that said that he learned Valerie Plame’s identity from Tim Russert. Tim Russert said, “I didn’t know who she was, so I couldn’t have told Scooter Libby who she was because I didn’t know who she was,” but Libby told Rove that it was Russert, but Rove said it was Libby that told him who her identity was. It’s all… What’s the word? It’s not moot because it certainly isn’t “moot,” but it’s just ridiculous. She wasn’t even covert. Victoria Toensing, who helped write this law has been all over television trying to get anybody who will listen to understand that the law she helped write has not been violated here because Valerie Plame was not covert, and the people that released her name didn’t know she was covert, either, and that was part of the law. So what this thing originally started out as is not what it’s become.
Now it’s who knew and who told who what, and Newt Gingrich last night had a pretty good point. He was on Hannity & Colmes. He was trying to explain this to Colmes. He said (paraphrasing), “Look, I don’t know what’s going on. I’m going to wait to find out, just like we’re all saying, what happened here. But it’s one thing if a hard, actual violation of law was taken place.” But Newt said, “The problem I have with this is, we have an investigation of a crime, and in the process of the investigation, we find there was no crime but we’re going to find a crime in the process of the investigation.” In other words, we’re going to bring people in for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of testimony. We’re going to conclude no law was broken, but then we’re going to say they are criminal because they changed their testimony ordered committed perjury or some other thing. He said it’s a dangerous thing when the process of an investigation leads to guilt, when the original crime cannot be proved to have been committed. Am I making this clear? Newt said it a little bit different than I did. In other words, folks, no real crime happened here as far as anybody can tell. So what everybody is talking about: What crimes occurred in the process of the investigation? In other words, all these people were brought in, did some of them lie? Did some of them get crossed up? Did some people say things that turned out to be not to be true? Does that constitute a cover-up? That would be one thing if there’s a genuine cover-up with something, but with no crime having been committed, what in the world is at stake here? And that is a dangerously thing, when all of a sudden — and you know this is how they got Martha Stewart — when they go and get a conviction on something totally unrelated to what they’re looking at that occurs in the process of their investigation. Once again, it constitutes out-of-control prosecutorial power — and I don’t know that that’s happened here but it’s what Newt says he’s concerned about as he watches all these things unfold before our very eyes.