The Miller Case: From a Name on a Pad to Jail, and Back

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    The NYTimes finally publishes a detailed article about the judith miller confidentiality situation

     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #2
    This was a much-anticipated article, but I think it comes off less as an exercise in introspection than of artful self-exoneration. At least the impression I got before I started fighting an overwhelming feeling of drowsiness right round the middle of page six.
     
  3. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #3
    Well, kudos to you for getting to page six, as they seem to say in the current Yanko-Greek idiom.
     
  4. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    i just woke up from a 2 hour nap. i'm not kidding.

    the article leaves a lot to be desired, including how she could actually forget who fed her the name. i'm interersted in mactastic's read on it; i recall him being the most vocal about the timing of her release.

    though the article provides an explanation, methinks there's more to the story.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    Well, since you asked.. ;)

    There really doesn't seem to be much new here that's relevant to the case. To me it seems like The Times is trying to save it's image in the wake of Miss Run Amok's disastrous string of reports. Sounds like they're massaging it so they don't sound like the dupes they were taken for by Miller. Why she would go to jail to protect a source who'd already told her to testify isn't made real clear either. I don't buy these claims of not wanting to hound a source. BS, when you're ass going to jail is on the line you make an attempt to avoid it.

    There's a little tidbit accusing Libby's lawyer of trying to scare Miller out of countering Libby's testimony. I guess that's new, or at least new to me.

    For a while it seemed Miller would be more important to this investigation than it now appears she is. Now attention is returning to the WH and Bush's inner circle. It appears likely that Rove and Libby are the ultimate targets of Fitzgerald now. I suppose we'll know in a week or so. I'd guess Rove and Libby will be facing at least a perjury indictment, if not conspiracy charges. Doesn't sound like Fitzgerald thinks he can make the charge of actually outing Plame stick, but I would guess he's caught at least one of these Bush guys in a couple substantial lies.
     
  6. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #6
    Ok, I read through it once, and can anyone point out any references to her newly discovered notes about a June meeting with Libby? While I find the obvious tension inside the Times mildly interesting, it is her role in covering up for Libby that should be thrust of the story. If Miller wasn't an active participant in a conspiracy to out Plame and disparage Wilson, she is the biggest fool writing today. Way too many holes in this story to be believed.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    I'm guessing that's what Fitzgerald thinks too...
     
  8. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #8
    yea, right...

    what a tool....in every sense of the word.
     
  9. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    the NYTimes changed the name of the story. now it's "The Miller Case: A Notebook, a Cause, a Jail Cell and a Deal".
     
  10. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #10
    I would say so. shes been bought.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    Then of course, there is Miss Run Amok's own column where she seems to careen between remembering everything when it suits her, but managing to forget the things that are most important.

    Oh of course I remember that he never mentioned Plame's name to me.

    I don't remember why I put a question mark by her name.

    I remember almost certainly starting this meeting asking about Wilson's OpEd.

    I don't remember why Libby asked to be identified as a 'former hill staffer'.

    And this:
    Yet here she remembers quite clearly that Libby never said Cheney knew about any of this:
    Then right back to "Poor me, I can't remember anything important."

    (my emphasis)

    Seriously, I'm too bored to go through her entire article and pick out the number of times she says she can't recall critical detail, yet manages to provide plenty of details that would exonerate her. Somehow I don't buy the 'selective amnesia' bit, and I doubt Fitzgerald does either.

    Miller is such a fat, juicy target for a perjury charge that if Fitzgerald is passing her up he definitely thinks he can nail some much bigger fish.
     
  12. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    link

     
  13. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    link

    curiouser and curiouser...
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    We've been down the rabbit hole for so long, I don't think we know what the rest of Wonderland looks like anymore.
     
  15. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #15
    finally people are seeing miller not as the journalistic hero she claims to be but as the shill (and liar) that she truly is. further reading by the la times' Tim Rutten:

    How Miller was used by source

    In an extraordinary memo on the Judith Miller affair sent to the New York Times staff late Friday afternoon, the paper's executive editor, Bill Keller, did something far more important than admit errors and explain why they occurred.

    He took the focus of this lacerating incident off the Times' internal workings as a media institution and put it squarely where it belongs: on Miller, the individual journalist.

    Miller is the Times reporter who spent more than two months in jail for refusing to reveal the identity of a confidential source to a federal grand jury investigating whether presidential political advisor Karl Rove, vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and others may have broken the law by revealing the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert agent of the CIA. Her cover may have been blown to punish her husband, former U.S. diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, who wrote an opinion article charging that President Bush had distorted intelligence reports on Saddam Hussein's purported attempts to purchase African uranium that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

    As we now know, Libby was Miller's source. Keller's memo said, "If I had known the details of Judy's entanglement with Libby, I'd have been more careful in how the paper articulated its defense and perhaps more willing than I had been to support efforts aimed at exploring compromises." He also noted that Miller had misled her editors about whether she'd been "on the receiving end of the [administration's] anti-Wilson whispering campaign."

    The Times is a great news organization with a newfound capacity for self-criticism and a demonstrated capacity to renew itself. Miller, the reporter, represents something far more persistent and pernicious in American journalism. She's virtually an exemplar of an all-too-common variety of Washington reporter: ambitious, self-interested, unscrupulous and intoxicated by proximity to power.

    Unfortunately, she has also become the poster child in the push for a national reporter's shield law, and this week she went before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify for the Free Flow of Information Act. There, she didn't even blush when she told the lawmakers: "Confidential sources are the life's blood of journalism. Without them ... people like me would be out of business."

    Probably so, but there's still a case to be made for this legislation.

    In a 3,400-word personal account of her conduct, published in the Times last Sunday, Miller includes this extraordinary — and extraordinarily revealing — description of her second conversation with Libby, two days after Wilson's opinion piece had appeared:

    "Our meeting, which lasted about two hours," she wrote, "took place over breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington ... I almost certainly began this interview by asking about Mr. Wilson's essay, which appeared to have agitated Mr. Libby. As I recall, Mr. Libby asserted that the essay was inaccurate."

    Miller also recalled that, when she testified before the grand jury, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald "asked about a notation I made on the first page of my notes about this July 8 meeting, 'Former Hill staffer.'

    "My recollection, I told him, was that Mr. Libby wanted to modify our prior understanding that I would attribute information from him to a 'senior administration official.' When the subject turned to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Libby requested that he be identified only as a 'former Hill staffer.' I agreed to the new ground rules because I knew that Mr. Libby had once worked on the Capitol Hill.

    "Did Mr. Libby explain this request? Mr. Fitzgerald asked. No, I don't recall, I replied. But I said I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson."

    You can bet he didn't. As the Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger reported Friday, Libby was obsessed with Wilson and determined to discredit — and defame — him. Why take the chance of leaving your own fingerprints at the scene of the crime, when the Washington press corps continues to be studded with useful idiots like Miller, who would whack their own grandmothers for a byline above the fold.

    The breathtaking ease with which Miller acceded to a demand from one of the executive branch's highest ranking officials that she mislead her readers about what really was occurring on an issue of literally life-and-death importance should be just that — breathtaking. Unfortunately, it's just another shabby example of dirty work as usual among a certain time-serving segment of the Washington press corps.

    With that as backdrop, consider the truly breathtaking hypocrisy of this portion of Miller's testimony to the Senate this week: "Those who need anonymity are not only the poor and the powerless, those whose lives or jobs might be in jeopardy if they speak up publicly, but even the powerful. All are entitled to anonymity if they are telling the truth ...."

    There are very good reasons to support a national shield law, but those who choose to do so — as this writer does — must make that choice admitting that it inevitably will be exploited by vindictive public officials like Libby and abused by self-serving reporters like Miller.

    As Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball reported in Newsweek's online edition this week, Libby deceived Miller during that breakfast meeting when he told her — according to her own account — that a classified National Intelligence Estimate "had firmly concluded that Iraq was seeking uranium" for a nuclear bomb. In fact, it called reports of Baghdad's purchase of African uranium "highly dubious."

    Miller makes no mention whatsoever of this in her evasive published account of their dealings; what does that make her?

    Sloppy and reckless — but apparently something more.

    At another point in her congressional testimony, Miller argued that "a second reason why this bill is so urgently needed is that in the post-9/11 era, dramatically increased amounts and types of information are being classified as secret, and hence are no longer available for public review.... In such a climate, confidential sources, particularly in the national security and intelligence areas, are indispensable to government accountability."

    True, but that assumes the confidential sources aren't behaving like con men and that the reporters involved haven't signed on as shills to lure the suckers into whatever version of the old shell game the crooks are running this week.

    Another part of the Times' coverage of this affair makes it abundantly clear just how easy it is for a reporter of Miller's ilk to go from telling just part of the truth to telling none of it.

    In the 5,800-word report on the Miller fiasco it published Sunday, the Times noted that, despite her conversations with Libby — and their shared interest in the Wilsons — Miller never wrote about them. "It is not clear why," the Times reported. Miller "said in an interview that she 'made a strong recommendation to my editor' that an article be pursued. 'I was told no,' she said. She would not identify her editor."

    Jill Abramson, now one of the Times' managing editors, was then chief of the paper's Washington bureau, out of which Miller worked. According to Sunday's story, Abramson "said Ms. Miller never made any such recommendation."

    Given Miller's demonstrable conviction that a true picture can be repainted in situationally convenient hues, it's not hard to figure out whom you believe on this one. A line of poetry comes to mind:

    And what is truth, said Pilate, and washed his hands.

    In the introduction to her testimony this week, Miller told the senators: "I'm here because I hope you will agree that an uncoerced, uncoercable [sic] press, though sometimes irritating, is vital to the perpetuation of the freedom and democracy we so often take for granted."

    True, but honest, uncoopted reporters are just as vital, and that's the real point — and scandal — of the Miller affair.
     

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