Washington Waits

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," October 26, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald (search) is wrapping up his two-year investigation into who outed CIA officer Valerie Plame (search) to the press and the whole thing could end up with some indictments, some very high-up indictments.

Fitzgerald met with the grand jury investigating the case for three hours today but they adjourned without making any announcements. If indictments are made against White House staff, and you're looking at Lewis Libby (search) and Karl Rove (search) there, those charged could include these two, presidential adviser Rove, vice presidential chief of staff Libby. How big of a political fallout will this be for the administration?

Joining us now is Democratic strategist and FOX News Channel contributor Bob Beckel and Republican strategist Rich Galen.

So, Rich, the egg is going to be on faces on your side of this issue. How big a deal is it?

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, maybe. We don't know a, if there are going to be indictments and if there are, we don't know who and if they are who, we don't know for what. So, there are a lot of missing pieces in this link before we start sending people off to the Judith Miller (search) memorial wing of the Alexandria federal lockup.

But, one of the things that I think you have to look at here is — and I have a lot of readers throughout the country, about 30,000 — Tuesday I wrote a column and I swore that I wasn't going to write about this again because for most of the country, this is sort of the back of the supermarket tabloid.

Here in Washington, we can't catch our breath, we're so excited about this.

GIBSON: Well, no — I know, Rich.

GALEN: I think this will pass fairly quickly. And even if they were indicted, I think this would pass quickly.

GIBSON: Except this is like a lightning bolt issue, Bob, for having been out of office a long time, really angry at George Bush, Al Gore should have been president, Bush should have never beaten Kerry. All those people, all they're doing is screaming on the e-mails, those crooks finally got caught. This is going to energize your Dems, isn't it?

BOB BECKEL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, John, let me just say one thing about what Rich said.

I'm a political strategist myself and everybody waiting with baited breath for these guys to get indicted — we have to remember that these guys have families, you know, and this is a tough business.

As political strategists, they are doing their job and their job was to carry out ... Here's the problem. The terribly fatal flaws of the Bush-Cheney decisions, made by Bush and Cheney, to go into this war.

And particularly interesting to me, is how much this is going through Cheney's office because Cheney's been the one who's given the front guy and the rationale for war.

And, I'll tell you, the big significance here is not Rove and Cheney — and I really do, honestly wish him the best — but, if they out these guys and Dick Cheney (search) and a plan to sell the American people false information to go to war, this is going to be the end of this administration.

GIBSON: Rich, how come I don't hear anybody saying, "Wait a minute, Joe Wilson (search) implied to the American public, Dick Cheney sent him on this mission. The vice president was seeking some information about this, so I went. And then they ignored me." Cheney didn't send him. What was wrong with trying to find out who did?

GALEN: I'm not sure there is anything wrong with that, and I'm not sure, as I said, that is what anybody will have been charged with. The only thing that makes any sense in this whole thing — and it was from Judith Miller's piece in The New York Times not this past Sunday, but the Sunday before — is when she said it appeared to her that the vice president's office was very concerned that the CIA was engaged in a process to try to distance itself from, in effect, its own shaky intelligence — what became shaky intelligence.

Getting to what you were saying and what Bob was saying, there is an administration that's going on, unlike previous administrations and scandals, this one does not appear to go anywhere near the Oval Office.

The flurry of activity about the vice president really, everybody who has looked into it and thought about it, says, "Well, if he talked to Libby about whoever this person was ... "

GIBSON: Hey, Bob, I'm running out of time.


BECKEL: I've been trying to be good about this thing, but at the heart of this thing are decisions to go to war on a failed policy. And that decision was made by George Bush and carried out by Dick Cheney.

The idea that somehow Dick Cheney ought to be left out of this thing, that's like asking rabbits not to mate. It's not natural. And this guy is as close to this thing as any single thing I have ever seen.

GIBSON: Bob Beckel, Rich Galen, thanks to both of you and we'll see how this works out.

BECKEL: Peace, good luck everybody.

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