Skip to comments.Questions Raised about Tim Russert's Story
Posted on 11/03/2005 7:57:10 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005 10:17 a.m. EST Questions Raised about Tim Russert's Story
NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert told Leakgate probers that he had no idea Joe Wilson's wife Valerie Plame was a CIA employee before her name surfaced in Robert Novak's fateful July 14, 2003 column, and that he was stunned upon learning that Lewis "Scooter" Libby claimed he got that information from him.
But an account by senior NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell raises questions about whether Mr. Russert may have known about Plame's employment well before the Novak column.
On Oct. 3, 2003, Mitchell was a guest on CNBC's now-defunct "Capital Report," where she was asked by host Alan Murray:
"Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?"
Mitchell replied: "It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that."
Mitchell's "widely known" characterization flatly contradicts assertions last Friday by Leakgate Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who repeatedly insisted that Plame's association with the CIA "was not widely known."
But perhaps more importantly, if Plame's work was an open secret in media circles [according to Mitchell], how is it that her boss, Mr. Russert, who - as NBC Washington bureau chief was presumably monitoring developments in "the intelligence community" as they related to the Wilson story - would have been oblivious to this same "widely known" information?
In fact, according to the text of Fitzgerald's indictment, Libby's version of events more closely matches Mitchell's on the subject of who knew about Plame's employment.
Fitzgerald said Libby claimed:
"During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilsons wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all
the reporters knew it." [Page 11 of Libby's Indictment]
None of this means that Mr. Libby actually told the truth and that Fitzgerald's star witness against him, Tim Russert, perhaps didn't.
But Mr. Russert might want to clear the air and explain how he managed to stay in the dark about key information in a case that was the talk of the town in early July 2003 - while the same information was "widely known," according a senior reporter who worked under him.
This whole Plamegate is a total waste of taxpayers' money and time.
Any "beat cop" in America could have determined in a day that Plame WAS NOT A COVER AGENT.
Instead, Fitzgerald fattens his personal bank account at taxpayers' expense for two years chasing his tail and all he has to show for it is a lame indictment for lying about a so called "crime" that wasn't a crime in the first place!
and they say this clown Fitzgerald is some kind of legal genius...yea right...he's like the rest of the clowns in DC...getting fat at taxpayers' expense!!!
Libby has issues, I won't deny that (mostly regarding his notes).
But the idea that these media witnesses told the truth when they all claimed not to know who Wilson's wife was, is laughable. they all knew.
BTW, it's actually too bad (for the country, not for Libby) that this thing probably will never go to trial.
Russert, Plame, Wilson, Mitchell, Miller, Cooper and slews of others need to be subjected to stringent cross-examination so that the truth can come out.
"Plame was NOT A CIA COVERT AGENT"
Find a way to find the law firm Libbey is using and send your analysis to them.
Nice to see the MSM might be getting some of their own thrown back at them! Rathergate, Mapegate, and NOW Russertgate!
Pray for W and Our Troops
Libby and the administration are not going to plea bargain this away, if Libby is telling the truth. Fitzgerald better be prepared to prove his allegations.
Victoria Toensing has called for an investigation into the CIA role in the Wilson affair, saying that the CIA was either conducting a brilliant covert attack on the Whitehouse or more inept intelligence tradecraft.
J'oh's wife's name was in their church newsletter?
If this goes to trial, part of Libby's defense should be to undermine the MOTIVE for lying by undermining the spin that the WH was trying to punish Wilson for telling the truth. This would involve calling Wilson and members of the Kerry campaign to the witness stand, and introducing as evidence the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings that Wilson had misrepresented virtually everything about his trip and the WH response to it. A trial - if anything - might finally get the real facts out to a wider public, and expose Wilson as the real liar and the real hit-man.
Eva, I hope and pray you are right, and I am wrong.
Is Andrea finding it *sport* or trendy questioning the validity of the Russert sot?
Questions, so many questions. :o)
Man-oh-man would I relish [seeing] the bloated Russert's head on a pike.
...*&* going the way of Danny "Boy" Rather. :o)
To finish my thought: if I were Libby's attorneys, I would announce publicly their intention to call Wilson, Lehane, Kristof, Cooper, Novak, and Pincus, among others, as witnesses. I would love to see how that would reverberate in DC.
And you know this beyond a metaphysical certainty, how?
If a reporter were trying to identify Wilson and everything about him in order to understand why the CIA would send him on a mission to Niger, one thing the reporter would explore would be Wilson's wife and her occupation and political ties. Wilson's Who's Who entry gives his wife's name. A political contribution database gives her political donation info and the name of her company. Novak was quick to identify her company as a CIA front. Was he told about it? Was it easily discernable to those familiar with CIA operations? I would like to know these things.
"I've heard about this entry before, but I don't see that the inclusion of her NAME is in any way related to releasing her clandestine occupation."
My view is that the law states that in order for an agent to be considered covert, then the government must be actively trying to conceal his/her connection to the US government.
Married to a former ambassador, and NSC member, and a man who writes an NYT op-ed piece saying he worked for the CIA on a mission to Niger. Was there any activity by the CIA to conceal her connection to Joe Wilson?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.