Friday, September 30, 2005

Judith Miller gets out, but will she clear up the mystery? 

As Tom Maguire (the righty 'sphere's leading PlameGate expert) has said repeatedly (and did again yesterday), now that Judith Miller's out of the hoosegow we can at least hope for some enlightenment. Hope is all we have, though, because the one thing we do know is that Judith Miller is being so disingenuous about her reasons for going to jail that we cannot expect to learn anything useful from her. I am not suggesting, by the way, that she will perjure herself in front of the grand jury, but I am not sure that she will ever clearly explain why she went to jail.

Of course, she has repeatedly claimed that she did so to protect the identity of a confidential source. Yesterday, in fact, she said this:
"It's good to be free," Miller said in a statement last night. "I went to jail to preserve the time-honored principle that a journalist must respect a promise not to reveal the identity of a confidential source. . . . I am leaving jail today because my source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations relating to the Wilson-Plame matter."

Unfortunately, the prosecutor and the presiding judge in this case have known for the better part of a year exactly who that source was. According to the WaPo on February 16:
According to the appellate court's opinion, [Special Counsel Patrick] Fitzgerald knows the identity of the person with whom Miller spoke and wants to question her about her contact with that "specified government official" on or about July 6, 2003.

The subpoena that Judith Miller refused to respond to, in fact, disclosed the name of the alleged confidential source, so the government already knew that Scooter was the source from Scooter, as has been confirmed for the umpteenth time today ("Joseph Tate, an attorney for Libby, said yesterday that he told Miller attorney Floyd Abrams a year ago that Libby's waiver was voluntary and that Miller was free to testify"). And while Miller's source's name has not been official released until yesterday, Sharp observers have argued for months that it must be "Scooter" Libby, as it turned out to be.

So Miller's claim above, while technically true if finely parsed (she was, perhaps, "respecting a promise" to keep a source confidential by not confirming what the entire world already knew), was extremely disingenuous. Moreover, she was not even protecting the content of the conversation that she had with Mr. Libbey, because he had already testified. Based on the facts that we know today (unless I've missed something -- I am no Tom Maguire), Miller is merely protecting her version of the content of the conversation. Why?

The other possibility, of course, is that Miller served that time in jail upholding a "principle" as penance for her reporting on WMD in Iraq in the run-up to the war, which has earned her the undying enmity of the left. In today's hostile climate, her social network must have turned a very cold shoulder when it surfaced that her source was Ahmed Chalabi, who apparently spun her like a dradle. There's nothing like jail time for the sake of "journalism" to rebuild one's street cred with the chattering classes.


By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Fri Sep 30, 08:29:00 AM:

She needed those 85 days in jail to get her story straight. Now she'll go before the grand jury rehearsed and ready to spit out more fibs than Tom Delay, Bill Frist, and Scooter Libby combined.  

By Anonymous spurwing plover, at Sun Oct 02, 08:22:00 PM:

Next time she should obtain a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD  

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