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NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller

The New York Times' 8 page article on Judith Miller is now online. [hat tip Raw Story.] It's written by Don Van Natta, Adam Liptak and Clifford Levy.

More interesting, is Judith Miller's five page account.

Let the analysis begin. Is Scooter Libby going to be Indictment Number One? Is Dick Cheney cleared? Does Judith Miller have too many convenient lapses of memory for us to believe her, even though Fitzgerald is giving her a pass? For anyone who still thinks she is going to be indicted, please understand that her lawyers would have carefully vetted this article before they allowed her to send it in to the Times. If Miller was in jeopardy from Fitzgerald, there would have been no article.

Will Miller now retire from the Times and get that 1.2 million book deal? Or will her advance be $4 million by the time the Indictments are announced?

Update: Reactions: Arianna says Miller's account raises more questions than it answers. Armando is rocking over at Daily Kos. Jane at Firedoglakeis taking her time to analyze both articles, as will I.

Update:
Note: Either my laptop is dying or the hotel I am staying at has the kind of broadband that isn't really broadband but the pseudo-kind where the hour before dinner when the entire hotel is online checking email, the system goes kaput. So, I will be back around midnight, well after dinner, with more observations, or if it is my laptop, tomorrow afternoon when I get back home.

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  • Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    Some comments... I think that Libby is in big trouble because he was not asked back to clarify all of the information that came out of Miller's testimony. They're not giving him a chance to clear things up because they already have enough to nail him. They gave Rove four hours to clarify things, and he must not have done so well because his attorney says that Rove thinks he will be indicted (although, of course, he is innocent!) Looks like Mr. Cheney's name may be on the indictment list, per Fitzgerald's questions to Miller. Mr. Fitzgerald gave an 8 page secret filing to the judges. Upon reading it, they all sent Judy Miller to jail. The gist of this case is in those 8 pages and it must be something pretty powerful.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    Definitely there is a major effort to protect Cheney right now. Bush is probably too f***ing stupid to be involved. But Rove + Libby does not equal Miller, and therein lies the rub.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#3)
    by Mike on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    Here's my take on the liars, and the lying liars fwiw: [link deleted, not in html format]

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    My first impressions: 1. Judy's memory seems just tooooooo forgetful. But is she protecting anyone besides herself? 2. Libby's letters seemed suggestive to me. I agree: he was trying to send a message. 3. If the Admin was trying to "out" Valerie Flame (oops!) then they didn't do a very good job getting the message across to their star spokesperson (Judy).

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#5)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    I suspect Miller's lack of memory reflects a general absence of effort to remember things—simply that she doesn't bother recording facts correctly. She's not that kind of reporter. Second, isn't Jackson where Darth Cheney lives? And if I got letters like Libby's, after having him appear to have been following me in Darth Cheney's home town, I'd be freaking scared for my life and thus happy to cooperate with Fitzgerald, which indeed Miller appears to be.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    Two observations: 1. Judy is a big fat liar. Her inability to remember the source of "Valerie/Victoria Plame/Flame" defies belief. Remember: she was laying the groundwork for a story, and according to her account in the NYT, she thought Wilson's wife's connection to the CIA was an important issue. If this is so, then she would have to source who gave her this info to begin with - if only because if she was to report on it, it would have to be sourced (even, if it was, ahem, to a "former Capital Hill staffer"). More importantly, unlike most witnesses who are trying to think back and recall details about events that happened two years ago, it would have been obvious to Miller at the time that these were important details. In other words, this isn't a matter of Judy Miller being asked to think back and reconstruct who gave her the name "Valerie Plame" (or variations thereof) two years after the fact, out of the blue. She knew at the time that this was important information (it was, she says, potentially newsworthy). But whatever importance it may have had during the work-up on the story (ie. pre-Novak column), some time around July 13, 2003 - or shortly thereafter (which is also only shortly after she learned about Plame) the identity of the source of the "Plame" name would have become a huge issue. And it would have been immediately apparent to Miller - at that time - that the source of this info was the story. So she has known for 2 years that the source of the information on "Plame" or "Flame" was a big deal; accordingly, when she is asked in front of the grand jury who gave her that info, she isn't reconstructing a memory that has laid dormant for 2 years. Instead, that information has been fresh in her mind ever since the Novak column - and that information became (as she certainly must have realized along the way) more and more relevant as the investigation began and grew. 2. Trying to cover Libby's ass may have sunk him. She says in her NYT piece that Fitzgerald asked her how Libby treated classified information. She responded: Very carefully, no doubt hoping to put him in a good light, on an issue that is at the heart of the investigation. We know, however, of the State dept. memo, marked "Top Secret", that contained the info on Plame - and is the likely source for the administration's basis for linking Wilson with his wife. If there is any evidence that Libby read this, or got Plame's name from any other classified source, then it undermines an attempted defence that the leak was inadvertent, or that he got her name from a reporter. In other words, if his standard practice is to be very careful in the treatment of classified info, then it becomes less likely that his role in leaking Plame's identity was inadvertent.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#7)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    She says in her NYT piece that Fitzgerald asked her how Libby treated classified information. She responded: Very carefully, no doubt hoping to put him in a good light, on an issue that is at the heart of the investigation.
    It seems to me that a better answer would have been, "I don't know. I don't have a clearance so he never disclosed anything to me." Unless that's not true.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    I'll bet no one in this Grand jury is nodding off. Man, imagine what it is like to be on this panel. I'd give Libby's right arm to be on it. Question: Are grand jury members allowed to read/watch/listen to, News accounts. Could they be blogging TL at this very minute. I wonder if any one of them could be commenting on this matter? Just wondering.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#9)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    Ed, And is their internet connection monitored? (Cue b-rated monster movie music)

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#10)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    Did Miller have a security clearance: My job was not to collect information and analyze it independently as an intelligence agency; my job was to tell readers of the New York Times as best as I could figure out, what people inside the governments who had very high security clearances, who were not supposed to talk to me,...

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#11)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    Oops. Posted too soon. This is from Arianna's post:
    And how cozy with her sources has she become when she felt she "was not permitted to discuss with editors some of the more sensitive information" from Libby about Iraq because of the government security clearance she had?
    So what kind of clearance might Miller have had?

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#12)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    So, she says she had a clearance to view secret documents during her stint as an "embed" in Iraq, but when Fitz asked her if she still had a clearance during the times she had discussions with Libby, she said she "didn't know." Hmmmm.

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    The NYT 8 page article can easily be reduced to three paragraphs and would still just be rehashing their non news about the Miller/Plame story. Where is Douglas Jehl when you need him?It is not surprising that the article not mention Jehl's July 28 article, after which he was relieved of heading the NYT internal investigation of Miller's shenanigans. His questions posed to the NYT in that article still have not been answered.
    In e-mail messages this week, Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, and George Freeman, an assistant general counsel of the newspaper, declined to address written questions about whether Ms. Miller was assigned to report about Mr. Wilson's trip, whether she tried to write a story about it, or whether she ever told editors or colleagues at the newspaper that she had obtained information about the role played by Ms. Wilson.
    Jehl

    Re: NY Times Uncorks on Judith Miller (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:03 PM EST
    Miller suggests that her sources are so interchangeable, forgettable or secret that she can not keep them straight. What a load of horse pucky. If this 5 page article really reflects her GJ testimony she is in trouble, as it is obvious that she is lying. I thought that the notes were redacted to only relate to Miller's conversations with Libby. How does Valerie Flame wind up not being redacted if it was not from those conversations. And how was it possible for her to redact her notes if she cannot recall what the notes refer to?
    On one page of my interview notes, for example, I wrote the name "Valerie Flame." Yet, as I told Mr. Fitzgerald, I simply could not recall where that came from, when I wrote it or why the name was misspelled... I testified that I did not believe the name came from Mr. Libby, in part because the notation does not appear in the same part of my notebook as the interview notes from him.
    So she is still shilling for the neocons. The basic propaganda she is recirculating is that It was the CIA's fault and Wilson had an axe to grind. What a hack I hope she is forced to resign.