RUSH: Now, to show you how absurd it’s getting, last night Chris Matthews on his show — Oh, take it back. Well, he did play Cheney last night on his show from an interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, in which Cheney said he didn’t know Joe Wilson; he had no idea who he was — which is true. When Cheney found out what was going on, Wilson comes back and starts saying all this, he called George Tenet, “What’s this? Who’s this guy?” and Tenet said, “Ah, well, ba-da ba-da ba-da ba-da ba-da,” but it’s apparent Cheney didn’t know. But Matthews refers in this bite here from this morning on MSNBC to Cheney’s appearance with Russert as essentially “false testimony before the American people.” So Randy Meier, the host, says, “Much has been said about what Vice President Cheney knew and when he knew it, talking about Joe Wilson on Meet the Press, touched off the whole thing about the criticism of the war in Iraq. Chris, I want you to listen to this.” He plays the video of Cheney on Meet the Press, 9-14-2003. Cheney says, “Joe Wilson? I don’t know who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back. I don’t know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn’t judge him. I have no idea who hired him,” and Russert says, “The CIA did.” Cheney responds, “Yeah, but who in the CIA? I don’t know.” Then Meier says, “At the end there, the vice president acknowledges, ‘Yeah, it’s the CIA but I don’t know who in the CIA would have sent him.’ Does that give the vice president some wiggle room in this whole issue?”
MATTHEWS: He’s certainly not being helpful to Timothy Russert, who’s interviewing him at the time. I mean, if you — he had been informed by Tenet, the head of the FBI [sic–CIA], that it was Mrs. Wilson who sent, who had a big role in sending her husband on the trip, he could have said that. He chose not to say that — and I have to tell you, I don’t think he was being cooperative as a witness on national television, if you know two things: He told his chief of staff and his chief of staff, Scooter Libby, wrote it down, he said it was Mrs. Wilson who sent her husband on that trip, and then three months later he said, “I don’t have any idea who sent him on the trip.” Well, that’s not the whole truth.
RUSH: Well he’s appearing on Meet the Press! Russert is not a special prosecutor. You don’t take an oath when you go in there. What is this, “uncooperative witness to the American people on national television”? Unbelievable! I mean, that’s where we’ve gotten. Now you gotta hear this. This is Katrina vanden Heuvel, and she was on Matthews’ show last night, Hardball. She’s the editor of The Nation magazine, and I’m telling you, folks, she looked like she was sucking a lemon on this whole show. Yeah, just puckered up. You know what you look like when you’re sucking on a lemon, if you would do it. So Matthews says, “Katrina, do you buy the argument that the vice president knowingly kept under the carpet the knowledge he gained from a trip to Africa by Joe Wilson, disproving the case that there was a deal by Saddam to buy nuclear weapons from Niger?” And that was not disproven, by the way. That’s another myth here that survives in the mainstream press. But here’s vanden Heuvel’s reply.
HEUVEL: This is a day when we have learned the grim and tragic news that 2,000 soldiers, American soldiers have been killed in a war of choice. I think we need to connect the dots to that video of Dick Cheney, the lead cheerleader for this war, who manufactured — who is out there with manufactured evidence to basically frighten — one might say terrorize the American people into a war — which even Brent Scowcroft, George W. Bush One’s national security advisor, is very clear as undermined our security. I think we need to connect the dots —
MATTHEWS: (interrupting) Okay, lemme, let me ask you —
HEUVEL: Well, let me and keep connecting the dots.
RUSH: Isn’t it fascinating she can “connect the dots” to Cheney and all this, but can’t connect the dots to Saddam Hussein? Can’t connect the dots to Al-Qaeda, can’t connect the dots to anything. So Matthews says, “Well, did you believe that Bill Clinton, you think Bill Clinton should have been kicked out of office for perjury and obstruction?”
HEUVEL: No, I don’t. I think —
HEUVEL: I didn’t like a lot of his policies. However, I think the key thing is, —
MATTHEWS: What? What is it?
HEUVEL: No one lies to a special prosecutor, but if it’s about national security —
HEUVEL: — that’s far more important —
HEUVEL: — than a sexual relationship.
RUSH: So you see where they’re going with their defense. “Ah, Clinton didn’t do anything! It was about sex. In fact, he was being virtuous, protecting his wife, his daughter, from embarrassing circumstances. It was honorable for Bill Clinton to lie and commit perjury and take the heat, rather than admit the truth.” It’s getting ridiculous because another guest on the show last night was John Podesta, who spent his entire time in the White House defending the indefensible and spinning lies. Podesta’s job was to lie for a liar. Podesta was chief of staff to Bill Clinton. So Matthews says, “Now, we’ve heard half a dozen, a dozen cases where they’re out pushing a story that Joe Wilson’s no damn good; his wife put him on this junket. Why did they take that risk if they weren’t protecting the vice president against something really serious? I don’t get it.”
PODESTA: Why they got so worked up I think goes back to the fact, uh, that they really were pushing this intelligence in a way that — that was unsubstantiated by the facts probably as they knew them in February when the state of the union was given, and I think they just — they just freaked out. The one thing we know for certain is that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove told Scott McClellan to go out and tell the American people they had nothing to do with this. They did that in September —
MATTHEWS (interrupting): We also know —
PODESTA: — we know that was a lie.
RUSH: Okay, so the drumbeat continues. (sigh) The hopes, dreams and prayers of the mainstream press continue to be worn on their sleeves, and it’s gotten to the point now you go out and get the chief of staff for the Clinton administration to comment on the honesty and veracity of this administration.