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Who is Judith Miller Protecting?

Could Judith Miller be protecting Dick Cheney? His chief of staff, Lewis Libby, authorized reporters eons ago (link, scroll down to Entertainment Reporter quote)to disclose that they spoke to him. I don't know the answer, but consider:

Joe Wilson has said he suspected (but was not alleging it was) Vice President Cheney. From USA Today:

Wilson connects Cheney to the events involving his wife through a meeting he said occurred in March 2003. He charged that Cheney's staff — with at least the "implicit" involvement of the vice president — met and decided to investigate his background. The investigation, he said, uncovered his wife's role at the CIA.

"The office of the vice president, either the vice president himself or more likely his chief of staff, chaired a meeting at which a decision was made to do a 'work-up' on me," Wilson wrote in The Politics of Truth. Vanity Fair magazine reported in January that Cheney's office denied that any such meeting occurred.

Judith Miller's lawyer, Floyd Abrams, said today:

Asked why prosecutors sought Miller's testimony when she never wrote a story about Plame, Times attorney Floyd Abrams said, "We don't know, but most likely somebody testified to the grand jury that he or she had spoken to Judy."

Dick Cheney was questioned by investigators for the grand jury. One other possibility from Dick Cheney's office: Dick Hannah.

Update: From Editor and Publisher, 9/28/04 (lexis.com)

One reason the Times doesn't want Miller to give one of those depositions: It would open her up to speculation that she was once again carrying water for the Bush administration.

Update: Light of Reason suggests that Miller might be protecting...herself. [hat tip to Mike Ditto in the comments below]

There have been a few tantalizing clues here and there that the information about Wilson’s wife and her identity may first have gone from a member of the press (perhaps with the initials J.M.) to a government official, and then back to another member of the press. So the obvious question is: just who or what is Miller protecting? To put it very rudely: is she protecting the sanctity of a “free press” or her own pathetic, lying ass? My vote is strongly for the latter.

Update: Bob Bennett, another of Judith Miller's attorney, said on Hardball tonight that he did not think Judith Miller was the source and that she was protecting herself. He did say he didn't know for sure. He wouldn't answer the question of whether she disclosed her source to her attorneys.

The Gelfblog wonders if Ms. Miller will blog from prison.

Arianna has the latest buzz on Karl Rove and McClellan from the Aspen Institute.

< Lil' Kim: One Year and a Day in Jail for Perjury | Judith Miller Placed in Alexandria Detention Center >
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  • Re: Who is Judith Miller Protecting? (none / 0) (#1)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:55 PM EST
    I've seen the theory bantered about that Miller might be the original source. Given the tenor of some of her previous "journalism" during the run-up to the Iraq war, I find that theory at least slightly believable. Hypothetically: Miller contacts Rove, plants the bug in his ear about the identity of Joe Wilson's wife, but does not mention her covert status. Rove picks up the phone and shops the story to Cooper, Novak, etc. Hypothetical result: Rove gets plausible deniability as to the "knowingly" bit, and Miller gets to hide behind the reporter-source privilege should it ever come to it. Light of Reason has more. So could it be that the person Miller is protecting is actually Miller herself?

    Re: Who is Judith Miller Protecting? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Tom Maguire on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:55 PM EST
    last October and November, the WaPo was quite clear that Ms. Miller was refusing to answer questions about Lewis Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff. One excerpt: Fitzgerald wants Miller to testify about her talks with Libby, even though she never wrote a story about Plame. Libby has signed a letter saying he waives his anonymity, but Miller still refuses to talk. Her position is that no such waiver under pressure from a prosecutor can ever be voluntary. In today's story, a different WaPo reporter consdiers the question to be up in the air - however, on three separate occasions last fall (with 2 different bylines), the WaPo said that Ms. Miller was refusing to testify about Libby Lewis.

    Re: Who is Judith Miller Protecting? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:55 PM EST
    My theory: Judy to Rove or Rove to Judy(either way, doesn't matter. They're in it together). Then Judy to Cooper and Novak. Novak publishes Plame's ID and testifies to Grand Jury(or more likely, Novak just gives it up to Fitzgerald in a proffer.)Cooper is staunchly protecting Judy as his source until today when, "in dramatic fashion," she gives him limited permission to out her (in Grand Jury only, but not publicly.)Judy goes to jail mostly to protect herself (and the NYT who needs to redeem her reputation) from being labeled (again) as just a tool of the administration, and to protect Rove because, well, he's Rove.And let's not forget the book contract afterward.

    Re: Who is Judith Miller Protecting? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:57 PM EST
    Tom is correct about reports by the Post and of Miller's lawyers saying she doesn't consider the waiver valid - But Tim Russert, Walter Pincus, Andrea Mitchell and others all gave up Libby - so my question is whether she is protecting Cheney - because of something Libby or someone else in Cheney's office told her about Cheney's instructions in this. I really don't see her going to jail to protect Libby. It has to be to protect someone else who was mentioned in their discussions.

    Re: Who is Judith Miller Protecting? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:35 PM EST
    It is likely that Miller is protecting someone in the National Security office. The memo that went to air force one from the state department was probably seen by Rice on that flight. She passed it on to her senior staff. The smear campaign was being formed and Rice is not above such tactics. She has been a constatnt source of miss information. The third source did not come from the state Department because when Powell testified before the special prosecutor he did not have an attorney present, and the state department was not ever part of the inner circle. I do not believe it came directly from Rice but it did come from one of her senior staff with her full knowledge. This is why the testomy of Miller is so important, because it expands the space of the coverup.