Monday, October 17, 2005
Judith Miller 'Wasn't' Or Didn't
(UPDATED - 10-18-05 3:30 PM)
More to chew on.
The Wall Street Journal - almost - gets to the bottom of the where, when and why did Judith Miller testify a second time before the grand jury.
By talking to her.
Wonder why she wouldn't reveal this part of the story to her - still, I presume - co-workers at The New York Times.
Wonder why - if she did tell them - they chose not to include it in their lengthy manuscript on Sunday.
From "Reporter's Account Suggests Probe's Tack" written by John D. McKinnon, Joe Hagan and Ann Marie Squeo:
Despite giving a lengthy first-person account, Ms. Miller left some pivotal questions unanswered. For instance, she didn't disclose whether she was asked by Mr. Fitzgerald in her first grand-jury appearance about meeting with Mr. Libby in June 2003. Her failure to disclose that meeting led to her second testimony before the grand jury after some of her notes were found. But neither her account nor the Times story discusses how the notes were found and what set off a search for them.
In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Ms. Miller said she discovered the June 2003 notes in her office after being prompted to seek out answers to another question Mr. Fitzgerald had asked her. "There was an open question about something, and I said I would go back and look and see if there was anything in my notes that would address that question," she said yesterday.
She said she found the notebook in her office. She reiterated that she couldn't recall who told her the name that she transcribed as "Valerie Flame." "I don't remember who told me the name," she said, growing agitated. "I wasn't writing a story, remember?" Asked if the other source was Mr. Rove, she replied, "I'm not going to discuss anyone else that I talked to."
Correct me if I'm wrong...but I was under the impression that Judith didn't write a story about Wilson using the dirt that Libby (and the mysterious forgotten source) probably illegally leaked to her, not that she wasn't writing a story.
Didn't write a story is not even close to the same as wasn't writing a story.
Yet another lie from the mouth of Judith Miller.
The Wall Street Journal winds up the article with this:
A spokeswoman for the Times said Ms. Miller was taking time off and was expected to return to the newsroom at some point.
No new news there.
If and when Judith Miller parts ways with the grey lady - by resigation or termination or both - I would expect her to return to the newsroom to pick up her belongings.
Judy's just about through and she knows it. Hence the rising agitation.
(Hat tip to litigatormom at Daily Kos for posting an early hour diary about the WSJ article.)
And in a related story, Walter Pincus and Howard Kurtz at The Washington Post get some choice quotes from Floyd Abrams, the renowned first amendment attorney who represented Judy, which show that Libby IS in trouble.
In an interview yesterday, Abrams declined to endorse Miller's account that Libby did not want her to testify unless she was going to exonerate him. "That's Judy's interpretation," Abrams said. Tate "certainly asked me what Judy would say, but that's an entirely proper question."
Abrams also minimized Miller's assertion that another source may have given her the name "Valerie Flame," as she recorded it in the same notebook used for her first interview of Libby. Abrams said others may have mentioned Plame only "in passing. . . . The central and essentially only figure who had information was Libby."
I have no reason to doubt Floyd Abrams, a man I have a lot of respect and admiration for (as opposed to Robert S. Bennett, Judith's other attorney, who is quoted at length in the article about "problems" for Libby).
The New York Sun posted a PDF of a letter that Patrick Fitzgerald wrote to Joseph A. Tate, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's attorney which - to me - is the most revealing document in the whole enchilada.
Yet it hasn't recieved the same attention as the other letters that The New York Times posted on the Web.
And Fitzgerald's letter seems to be very similiar to many of the positions that Abrams has taken that he was criticized for in some sectors.
You would think that most liberals would jump at this part of the story. That - as even Fitzgerald began to think - Libby let Judy rot in jail because he didn't want her to talk. That his POTUS ordered waiver was coerced...or at least that's the way he or his lawyer may have put it to Abrams. That he's the major "villian" in this part of the tale...not Judy.
I expect indictments for Rove and Libby. For obstruction of justice. Perhaps for lying to federal officers. Perhaps for lying to the grand jury. Perhaps for conspiracy.
But there won't be any treason charges. Let that go, blogosphere.
Richard Cohen may be a cretin (and a lousy apologist) but he's right about one thing.
Valerie Plame was a "richochet." The intent of any "conspiracy" was to smear Joe Wilson, not out an undercover agent. Intent is a key part of any conspiracy charge...and there clearly wasn't an "intent" to put CIA agents at risk...even if that was the result.
In two-hundred-and-thirty-ODD-years of existence, the United States of America has only ever successfully prosecuted a handful of citizens for committing treason.
And that ain't gonna happen for this, that's for sure.
Hell yeah...I think it's appropriate to say that these clowns in the Bush Administration committed treason by outing a CIA agent. But that ain't the same as saying they should be prosecuted for it.
I would think that the left should exercise caution when it comes to crying out for treason or sedition charges. Because if we lower the bar...it might not be humanly possible to limbo underneath it.
Bloomberg.com published an article entitled "Cheney May Be Entangled in CIA Leak Investigation" written by Richard Keil which pretty much agrees with my theory on the most likely charges for Rove and Libby (though Vice President Dick Cheney is drawn into the picture...which I'm very skeptical about):
Larry Barcella, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said the recent activity in the case suggests criminal charges are likely, although not in connection with the 1982 law making it illegal to disclose a covert agent's identity.
A more likely focus is possible ``false statements, conspiracy or obstruction of justice,'' said Barcella, now a defense lawyer for the Washington-based law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. ``It's obviously not good that Rove and Libby have spent so much time before the grand jury.''
To make a case against Cheney as part of a conspiracy indictment, Fitzgerald would have to show the vice president was an active participant in a decision to smear Wilson, Barcella said. ``It's a case most easily made if you can prove a person knowingly entered into an agreement to do something illegal,'' he said. ``Beyond that, it can be tricky.''
The other week Jason Leopold wrote at The Huffington Post:
Looks like Karl Rove did break the law, the same federal law that got Martha Stewart sentenced to six months in prison.
I believe Rove and Libby are going to be MarthaStewarted or LilKimed.
UPDATE MOTHER OF ALL UPDATES
There may be a leak!
Raw Story reports that the Daily News tomorrow will report "that a well-placed source interviewed by the newspaper believes a senior White House official has flipped and may be helping the prosecutor in the case."
And make sure you keep checking Raw Story this evening (or early tomorrow) because I've been informed that something BIGGER will be reported there (I probably should mention, again, to those not in the know that I also work for Raw Story).
The "something BIGGER" was revealed today at Raw Story. Check out this post for more: "Is John Hannah Coming Clean?."