He hedged a bit. Here's my transcription of what Chris Matthews told me:
"Well, let me just tell you this, without getting into that, because I know the answer generally to your question, is that, because all of this involves testimony that Russert is probably going to have to make, and let me just tell you this, that those people in the White House, especially Libby and the vice president, working as a team, "connected as a root," to use Libby's favorite phrase, basically pulled off an alley-oop play to get us into war in Iraq by feeding to the New York Times stories about nuclear potential in the hands of Saddam Hussein, to get it into the Sunday paper, and then deploying the vice president on "Meet the Press" and other administration officials like Condi Rice on the other Sunday talk shows in a kinda alley-oop play.
"So they put the ball in the air, and then on Sunday mornings, these guys put it in the basket, and then all of a sudden we're at war over Iraq because a lot of Americans in the middle politically say, 'I don't know how we're getting into that mess or why we're getting in it, but I guess we have to protect ourselves against a mushroom cloud,' that is Condi's phrase.
"So, having pulled this masterful move of moving the undecided middle into the war, they then became very sensitive to the charge by Joseph Wilson that they had done the very thing, pushed the nuclear button and then covered up any threat to that nuclear button, and Wilson was that threat, and then, going volcanic against anybody including me, who dared to say, 'Wait a minute, there is a pattern here of how we got into the war, and how they promoted the nuclear case and how they protected the nuclear case against Wilson.'
"They didn't like me doing that. I know that a number of administration officials were screaming at my network at all levels about me raising this issue, the very points I've just made. They don't like hearing it, Libby is in trouble now because he doesn't like hearing it, the vice president is very much a part of this, and the answer to your question is that you are on the right trail, Michael."
What does all that mean? To me, that Russert may not have called Matthews immediately after hanging up with Libby, but he did tell his colleague of that call, which doesn't bode well for Libby.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Not Guilty or Burnt Toast - Sub Title: Alley-Oop!
Libby may plead not guilty. It's his right to foul up the judicial process and expend taxpayer dollars in his quest for due process (incidentally, which is being denied numerous ordinary people right now). But then again, the man may be left gasping for air (if he lives through this - who knows what covert NSA op will be put in motion here). Like burnt toast, no amount of butter will make it taste better. The W, Rove and Co. have burned it, indeed: