Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Fallout for Judith Miller in Tuesday's Matthew Cooper Move? [Plame Probe Link]
Editor & Publisher ^ | 8/25/04 | William Jackson

Posted on 08/25/2004 6:44:15 AM PDT by Gothmog

As contempt charges again Time magazine are dropped, the New York Times fends off its own subpoena in Valerie Plame leak case.

(August 25, 2004) -- Among the growing list of reporters that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald wants to talk with -- leading to subpoenas, one contempt charge so far and possible jail time -- the name of Judith Miller has raised the most eyebrows. No stranger to controversy, The New York Times reporter had not previously been thought to be tied to the Valerie Plame affair.

Now she and her paper have to fend off a court action. An indication of why may have emerged in Tuesday's announcement that Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper has now skirted that contempt charge, giving a deposition after I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's aide, voided their confidentiality agreement.

In recent months, Miller -- widely criticized for exaggerating the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, along with other members of the media -- has produced (with Susan Sachs) stories on the United Nations oil-for-food program and anthrax, including last week's "Wrangling Impedes Transfer of Civilian Anthrax Vaccine."

She was also the subject of a small Times story on Aug. 13. The previous day she had been subpoenaed by a Washington grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame to the syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other journalists. Novak had outed Plame in a column on July 14, 2003, claiming that his information came from two high-level administration officials. Plame's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, has asserted that the disclosure of her identity was retribution for his contention, in an op-ed article, that President Bush relied on discredited intelligence on Iraq in his 2003 State of the Union address.

The subpoena to Miller was the most recent in a series issued to journalists in a politically sensitive inquiry that has led investigators to question White House officials on several occasions. Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of the Times, said the paper would move to quash the Miller's subpoena.

But the Times has never published any articles saying it ever received information about Plame's identity. A well-placed source within the paper tells me that Miller had not told her editors the leaker's name or Plame's identity, even though (in the opinion of the source) she seemed to have knowledge of both.

Miller, in any case, did not expose Plame in the way that Novak did in his syndicated column, which ran in The Washington Post. Yet Sulzberger referred to her "confidential sources" and said "journalists should not have to face the prospect of imprisonment for doing nothing more than aggressively seeking to report on the government's actions."

If Miller had Plame's name and identity, who was her source? If she didn't, why would she have been implicated in the current case?

The answer probably rests in the suspicions attending the staff of the vice president, who have become prime suspects as the source of the Plame leak. The man who seems to be emerging at the center of the probe is John Hannah, an aide with a profile lower than that of Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

Hannah could be the link between Miller and Plame, as they have been friends for a long time -- one of a string of close associations she has with neo-cons in the Bush administration. Along with Miller and Bill Luti in Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith's office, Hannah and Libby were the recipients of Ahmad Chalabi's bogus intelligence on Iraqi WMD that was "stovepiped" to the top, and not vetted within the intelligence community.

In the 1990s, Hannah for a while headed up the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think tank that represents the interests of the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), and where he had frequent professional contact with Miller.

One source close to the case tells me that chief of staff Libby probably "wondered aloud to Hannah about what would happen if it got out that she [Plame] had put Ambassador Joe Wilson up for the mission to Niger, or something like that." Hannah, in this scenario, then so wondered to several journalist contacts, including Miller.

The same source said he has known Scooter Libby "for more than 20 years and I judge him to be too smart and too careful to have been handing out Valerie's name to reporters." If Libby's voiding of his confidentiality agreement with Mathew Cooper is an indication of his innocence (no sure thing), then Hannah, and possibly Miller, likely will receive even more attention from investigators.

William E. Jackson Jr. , a frequent contributor, served as executive director of President Carter's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cialeak
This guy is obviously a leftist trying to link the Plame outing to the Bush White House, but I have been wondering why the FBI was interested in the NY Times' Miller. This may be why.
1 posted on 08/25/2004 6:44:15 AM PDT by Gothmog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Shermy; cyncooper

I know y'all are interested in this, so ping


2 posted on 08/25/2004 6:55:54 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gothmog
Look, Plame had already been "outed" to the Russians years ago, so Sulzburger himself likely knew long before anyone else in the country.

Pesumably he would reveal this information to any reporter, e.g. Miller, working a story that crossed Plame's path.

3 posted on 08/25/2004 6:56:39 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gothmog

It's never been clear to me why the knowledge that Plame helped land Wilson the Niger assignment would be so devastatingly embarrassing to Wilson, or would "discredit" him. I think that is Wilson's spin, not the motive of the leaker. Novak said that the leak came about "offhandedly" in the middle of a long conversation, i.e., it was not something offered by the leaker as being scandalous or particularly earth-shattering.


4 posted on 08/25/2004 7:54:51 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Steve_Seattle
It's never been clear to me why the knowledge that Plame helped land Wilson the Niger assignment would be so devastatingly embarrassing to Wilson, or would "discredit" him.

It's never been clear to me how one could expect a fair opinion from Joe Wilson since he does business with the same Nigerien officials he basically exonerated from breaking international law.

Also, his overreaction may be due to the not unlikely possibility that his wife shares all sorts of information with him.

5 posted on 08/25/2004 9:59:51 AM PDT by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Gothmog
Thanks for the ping. With all the excitement of Cleland and Rassman's Excellent Crawford Adventure I'm just getting around to the latest Plame column.

Well, let's see:

If Miller had Plame's name and identity, who was her source? If she didn't, why would she have been implicated in the current case?

The answer probably rests in the suspicions attending the staff of the vice president, who have become prime suspects as the source of the Plame leak. The man who seems to be emerging at the center of the probe is John Hannah, an aide with a profile lower than that of Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

LOL!

Never say die! When it becomes clear their boogeyman "Scooter" was not the "culprit", why just move on down to the aide. Um, and where is the tie of Hannah to Miller?

I would say the question I bolded that the reporter poses is pertinent. Too bad he can't discern the most likely obvious answer. The probe is beyond the conventional wisdom of "who 'leaked' Plame's name". And it might have to do with the trip itself, which had to do with Miller's beat regarding WMDs.

6 posted on 08/25/2004 2:51:51 PM PDT by cyncooper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson