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Was Judith Miller The Source Of The Plame Leak?

Arianna Huffington offers this bombshell...

Not everyone in the Times building is on the same page when it comes to Judy Miller. The official story the paper is sticking to is that Miller is a heroic martyr, sacrificing her freedom in the name of journalistic integrity.

But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has "manipulate[d]" and "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an "unnamed government official"). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out.

This is why Miller doesn't want to reveal her "source" at the White House -- because she was the source. Sure, she first got the info from someone else, and the odds are she wasn't the only one who clued in Libby and/or Rove (the State Dept. memo likely played a role too)...but, in this scenario, Miller certainly wasn't an innocent writer caught up in the whirl of history. She had a starring role in it. This also explains why Miller never wrote a story about Plame, because her goal wasn't to write a story, but to get out the story that cast doubts on Wilson's motives. Which Novak did.

This version of events has divided the Times into two camps: those who want to learn everything about this story, and those who want to learn everything as long as it doesn't downgrade the heroic status of their "colleague" Judy Miller.

Though Arianna isn't exactly noted for accuracy in her reporting of breaking stories (for example, the Dick Cheney in Vail, Co. heart attack story), this one at least seams plausible.


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Comments (16)

JmaR says that -S- and me a... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

JmaR says that -S- and me are crazy but I still believe Wilson leaked it himself, to make his lies seem believable. We aren't alone in believing this.

http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may200507150827.asp

If you were trying discredit Wilson's claims/lies would you point out that he has inside information from his wife who just happens to work at the CIA in the WMD section? I wouldn't...

So, when do *I* get credit?... (Below threshold)
-S-:

So, when do *I* get credit?! I've been writing this and many times over in Wizbang comments, it's making me head numb.

That and that Joe Wilson leaked the fact that his wife was "a secret agent/operative" with the CIA...

Seems only me and bullwinkle have had a good perception of this issue for a while now. At least, in print.

bullwinkle, I wouldn't put ... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

bullwinkle, I wouldn't put much credence in anything JmaR has to say. He's a self-professed Deaniac.

Wilson engaged in an interv... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Wilson engaged in an interview with David Corn a few days PRIOR to Robert Novak's column being published...go read about the timing and what was said to whom by whom in this (thanks, bullwinkle, for the link).

Like I've been writing all along, Joe Wilson leaked the information to Corn, Novak repeated it, then the two reporters engaged Rove and posed the hypothetical to him, and then let him deny or confirm and Rove said what he said...(the wife refernce, no secret agent mention, already been well discussed here and elsewhere).

And also like I've been writing all along, I am betting that Judith Miller had knowledge from/with Corn and probably was the source of the information to Cooper and/or by way of Corn. And that Miller's likely gone to jail to protect herself.

I read a few days ago that President Bush was rumored to be considering a Presidential pardon for Miller...

I've always felt Judy Mille... (Below threshold)
scotty:

I've always felt Judy Miller was a decent reporter. Not one of the NYTimes classical lefties. I have not heard a solid case for why Miller is stonewalling. The Huff post's conspiracy theroy has holes. It doesn't look like Miller gave info to Libby/Rove. So, just what sort of "stunt" is she trying to pull off? Is this simply a matter of her deeply held belief about the sanctity of a source or is she just trying to raise her street cred. and her speaking fees.

-S- & bullwinkle:I... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

-S- & bullwinkle:

I thought I'd pass along from this the always shifty and slithering David Corn. I just can't figure out why Corn hasn't appeared before the grand jury. He seems to be knee-deep in this mess, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he has a hand in this, but I just can't articulate how. Anyway, I figured you'd like to see what he's up to.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames?bid=3&pid=8813

I wish I knew more about the ins and outs of this subject to comment on it, but the particulars and nuances and especially the timeline of evens are just damn hard to keep straight.

You all are doing a great job! Keep it up.

Meanwhile, I'll just "shut up, listen, learn".

Peter, the best source I kn... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Peter, the best source I know of for Plamegate in general and the timeline is:

http://macsmind.blogspot.com/

Mac has a great blog and he's been on top of this for quite a while.

Thanks, bullwinkle!(... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Thanks, bullwinkle!
(That's just weird to write.)

About Judith Miller, I don'... (Below threshold)
-S-:

About Judith Miller, I don't necessarily disrespect her on a personal level, can't and won't ever write that she's a 'bad journalist' or such, just that her behavior indicates extreme action. Going to jail for Miller is either some combination of a publicity stunt (which I doubt but you never know -- in which case, if it was/is, then she's not such a laudible journalist and enters into the realm of the carnival), or it's her only option on a survivalist level. As in, she has no other option if she wants to continue working where and how she's been working...

Another thing is that in all this public rooting around over this whole issue, no one has ever pointed out or, more significantly, discounted the possibility of Miller actually being first in the chain of information, at least ahead of Cooper, and prior to Rove...I'm sure the investigation is covering that, but the public seems to have a Karl Rove pill stuck in their literary throat and can't seem to discuss any other possibilities other than "Rove, Rove, Roooovvvee..."

That last part is enough to my view to more than suggest the possibility that Rove's the target of espionage to some degree or another, much as it appears when you/anyone/everyone begins to notice a crowd of comments by liberals all of the same content, with a few tweaks here and there, but sorta like a wildfire that you find suddenly appearing, all mentioning mutual copy, all noticably liberal and written noticably also to and on conservative's blogs and forums.

I was just reading another blog where the very same lengthy paragraph was written one after another by two user I.D.'s with only so much as a differing last sentence, and yet otherwise, exactly the same copy, in some defensive point about communism in the U.S.

It is so straightforward, what Rove is quoted as having said, and so straightforwardly manipulative to my view as to how Cooper behaved --- not like Rove called him, not like Rove brought up the issue of Wilson and Wilson's wife, but that Cooper used one pretense to contact Rove and then moved quickly to raising Wilson/wife issue == which indicates, also, to my view that Cooper intended that issue/subject and used some other pretense upon which to contact Rove, and then went about intentionally trying to get Rove on record for uttering the words....Wilson...wife...CIA...employed by...

Rove never said that Wilson's wife (nor by name) was "a secret agent" or even "an operative," of the CIA and it was public knowledge that the wife worked for the CIA anyway. BUT, PRIOR TO THAT CALL BY COOPER TO ROVE, Wilson spoke with Corn and two days after that -- still before Cooper spoke with Rove -- Novak's column was published...

Please read that NRO piece (earlier link) for the timeline of events.

All the information thus far is blindly discounted by liberals under the delusion that conservatives "protect" or defend Rove without acceptance of the facts, and yet the facts are clearly showing (already have) that Rove didn't display even the hope of "leaking" anyone's secret agent affiliation to anyone...he literally just acknowledged Cooper's postulation that Wilson's wife arranged Wilson's trip to AFrica, thus communicating that Wilson had lied about the pretense by which he went to Niger.

I can't wait to get on about Hillary Clinton and Bill with his latest loveflings in his N.Y. neighborhood. I mean that sarcastically because it's dreadful to consider muckracking, and yet that's what liberals have been doing about Rove. With one exception: the thing about Bill Clinton is true.

-S-,Wilson engage... (Below threshold)
jYt:

-S-,
Wilson engaged in an interview with David Corn a few days PRIOR to Robert Novak's column being published...go read about the timing and what was said to whom by whom in this (thanks, bullwinkle, for the link).

I've read over the article a few times, and I don't understand where you're getting the "PRIOR" part. Corn's article was published 2-3 days after Novak's column and it referenced Novak's column extensively. I believe that the article is saying that in naming Wilson as "covert" in that article, Plame was thus outed as "covert." In Novak's column she was merely mentioned as an "agency operative." Corn clearly talked to Wilson about Novak's article to make his article, so this would have to have happened after Novak's article was published. Therefore, the timeline seems to be:

1) Someone told Novak about Plame
2) Novak wrote his article (probably July 11th)
3) Cooper called Rove (July 11th)
4) Novak's article was published naming Plame as an "operative" (July 14th)
5) Corn reads Novak's article and talks to Wilson
6) Corn wrote and published his article revealing she was a "covert agent" (July 17th)

Is that what your saying? If not please provide your alternative timeline and note specifically where the article says that Corn and Wilson talked at all prior to Novak's article.

Maybe I just have the wrong article. I'm reading the NRO one by Clifford May dated July 15th.

Huffington ignores that if ... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Huffington ignores that if Miller were the one, she could get out of jail by pleading the fifth. I doubt she's sitting in jail to avoid using the universal Get Out of Jail card.

The Wilsons' connection to ... (Below threshold)
BR:

The Wilsons' connection to the MSM on this matter starts even earlier than the Corn/Wilson 7/16/03 article.

"In early May [2003], Wilson and Plame attended a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at which Wilson spoke about Iraq; one of the other panelists was the New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. Over breakfast the next morning with Kristof and his wife, Wilson told about his trip to Niger and said Kristof could write about it, but not name him.... Kristof's column appeared on May 6. [2003]"

[Vanity Fair got this data from Wilson himself, as he is quoted in the rest of the paragraph giving his "reason" for talking to Kristof about his Niger trip, and what else, one wonders.]

It is clear from Kristof's 5/6/03 piece that Wilson described the Niger forgeries to him, with Plame sitting right there at the breakfast table.

"I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. [False, Cheney's office did not order the trip.] In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings [would that "someone" be Plame tellling Kristof about the Feb 02 meetings at the CIA, as she passes the sugar here at the May 03 breakfast?], that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged." [Wilson since denied in numerous articles and to the Senate that he ever saw the forgeries and only heard about them in March 03 when the UN's Elbaradei conveniently "exposed" the forgeries on behalf of the CIA-forgery cabal.]

"The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. … The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration…." [Actually the forgery itself was passed on up the lines. And there are now claims that Wilson made no written report, he was debriefed at home. If there is such a written report in which he already describes the forgeries in Feb/March 02, it's probably worth a third-rate theft or two or three.]

*****

Kristof's office is just down the hall from Miller's – NYT
Miller may even know Plame personally since WMD was Miller's beat.

The CIA/MSM/DNC cabal is an incestuous crowd.

Links for all the above in ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Links for all the above in 7/17/05 items at wizbang, here and later, there and all over the place :)

Oh, for God's sakes...the C... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Oh, for God's sakes...the Corn exchange occured PRIOR TO THE NOVAK COLUMN BEING PUBLISHED. Joe Wilson spoke with Corn PRIOR TO NOVAK'S COLUMN, PRIOR TO ROVE, WHATEVER, WHOMEVER.

THE VERY FIRST recorded tidbit that alludes/suggests, nearly spells out that Valerie Plame was involved in some sort of covert/super/secret/otherthandeskjob with the CIA was Wilson in his conversation with Corn.

End of story.

-S-,I guess you th... (Below threshold)
jYt:

-S-,

I guess you think that repeating what I was asking for evidence for in ALL CAPS constitutes proof. The date of Corn's article is 7/16/2003. The date of Novak's column was 7/14/2003, two days earlier. There is nothing at all in Corn's article that I see that shows that Wilson had talked to Corn about his wife or her status before Novak's article was published. In fact, it's obvious from Corn's article that most of Wilson's quotes are post-Novak's article. He says things like, "Stories like this [Novak's story] are not intended to intimidate me...."

Those are the simple, easily provable facts. If you disagree with these conclusions, please be specific why with quotes from the articles. Otherwise, I'll have to concluse that you cimply aren't capable of reading and understanding them.

If you're referring to some other exchange that happened between Corn and Wilson, the article you reference and the two articles that it references (Novak's 7/14 and Corn's 7/16) don't back it up. So, where is the evidence that you're presenting that Corn talked to Wilson about Plame prior to Novak's article? So far, nowhere but your imagination. If there was evidence of such a conversation, you'd certainly think May would reference it, but he doesn't.

Jay Tea, I hope you read this line of "reasoning" by -S- before you feel the need to scout other boards for insane conspiracy rantings in comments. As I noted in another thread, you don't have to leave WizBang to find crazy commenters, who have no idea what they're talking about, but nonetheless insist on forcefully spreading their disinformation.

Reminder re Judith Miller's... (Below threshold)
BR:

Reminder re Judith Miller's 2001 tip-off to terrorists:

Wapo 2/25/05 article:

"U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled that a federal prosecutor in Chicago cannot compel the newspaper to turn over records of two Times reporters' phone calls in 2001 as part of an investigation into possible government leaks. The effort by U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald came in the cases of two Muslim charities accused of possible ties to terrorists."

***

"The case began in late 2001, when federal agents were investigating two Islamic foundations for alleged ties to terrorists. On Dec. 3, 2001, Times reporter Judith Miller telephoned officials with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based charity accused of being a front for Palestinian terrorists, and asked for a comment about what she said was the government's probable crackdown on the group.

U.S. officials said this conversation and Miller's article on the subject in the Times on Dec. 4 [2001] increased the likelihood that the foundation destroyed or hid records before a hastily organized raid by agents that day.

On Dec. 13, [2001]Times reporter Philip Shenon called the Illinois-based Global Relief Foundation and asked for comment about the government's intention to freeze its assets because of allegations it had ties to terrorists. "FBI personnel learned that some of the targets [of the investigation] may be destroying documents," and agents "hastily assembled" a raid on the charity on Dec. 14, [2001] according to a report by the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Prosecutor Fitzgerald has assembled a federal grand jury in Chicago to look into alleged leaks to the reporters. Fitzgerald's office has sought records of calls made on the two reporters' phones about that time...."




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