September 29, 2005

WHAT'S THE SECRET PASSWORD?:

Miller Agrees to Testify in CIA Leak Probe (JOHN SOLOMON, September 29, 2005, The Associated Press)

After nearly three months behind bars, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released Thursday after agreeing to testify about the Bush administration's disclosure of a covert CIA officer's identity.

Miller left the federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., after reaching an agreement with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. She will appear Friday morning before a grand jury investigating the case.

"My source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations," Miller said in a statement.

Her source was Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, reported the Times, which supported her contention that her source should be protected.


Mr. Libby had, of course, granted her permission to discuss their conversations quite some time ago. Odd that the Post simply assumes Ms Palme was a covert agent, since the facts don't suggest that to be true.


MORE:
A CIA-Did-It Defense for Scooter in the Plame Leak Case? (David Corn, 9/30/05, The Nation)

The end of this sub-plot has caused Libby's team to leak his defense to the media. The Post quotes "a source familiar with Libby's account of his conversations with Miller." The odds are that source is Libby or his attorney. This super-secret source says that on July 8, 2003, Miller and Libby talked. This was six days before columnist Bob Novak disclosed the CIA identity of Valerie Wilson and two days after former Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote an explosive Times op-ed disclosing that his trip to Niger in February 2002 had led him to conclude that President Bush had falsely claimed that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium in Africa. In this conversation, Miller asked Libby why Wilson had been sent on this mission by the CIA. (Miller, whose prewar reporting had promoted the administration's case that Iraq was loaded with WMDs, had a personal, as well as professional, interest in Wilson's tale.) Libby, according to this source, told Miller that the White House was, as the Post puts it, "working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson's trip and how he was selected." Libby noted he had heard that Wilson's wife had something to do with it but he did not know where she worked.

Four or five days later, according to the Libby-friendly source, Libby and Miller spoke again. Now Libby knew more. He told Miller that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and had a role in sending Wilson to Niger. This source tells the Post that Libby did not know her name or that she was an undercover officer at the CIA. That latter point is crucial, for, under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Fitzgerald can only prosecute Libby if Libby disclosed information about a CIA officer whom he knew was a covert employee.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2005 10:25 PM
Comments

The facts don't jibe. Libby gave her permission months ago but she says her source only just gave permission. The Times then states that Libby is the source.
This may come back to hurt the GOP but I still can't believe Miller spent 3 months in jail to protect Rove or another GOP person.

Posted by: AWW at September 29, 2005 11:12 PM

Supposedly she didn't feel his blanket consent was sufficient to free her to speak.

Posted by: oj at September 29, 2005 11:22 PM

People keep attributing ulterior motives to her silence, but perhaps Miller was just atoning to the liberal hive for being a bit too positive on the war.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 29, 2005 11:32 PM

Apparently she used Libby to confirm what she had heard from someone else, telling Libby about Plame, not vice-versa. The question then is: who was her original source?

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2005 12:09 AM

Well, at least she is out in time for Yom Tov. Maybe her husband came home from his cruise.

I wonder if any of her mates knited her a poncho, like the one that Martha got?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 30, 2005 12:38 AM

Early in the summer, there was speculation Miller was protecting Colin Powell. How's that scenario holding up?

Posted by: erp at September 30, 2005 8:04 AM

Probably fessing up now b/c her star power as a martyr's run out -- I had totally forgotten about her.

Posted by: Twn at September 30, 2005 9:01 AM

I guess she finished her book, and needs to get out to prepare for her speaking tour...

Posted by: b at September 30, 2005 12:22 PM


Roger Simon figured it out:
"Judith Miller seems to have lost some weight during her twelve week stay in jail."

People who ask she spent 85 days in jail, are asking the wrong question. Do you know how much 85 days at a fat farm costs. Once people figure this out, they will be calling Peter Fitzgerald and refusing to testify, even if they have no idea what or who Valerie Plame Wilson is or was.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 30, 2005 1:18 PM
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