Sunday, October 16, 2005

Judy Miller Had a Security Clearance?

If you haven't stumbled across it already, very intersting conversation re: Judy Miller's "security clearance" (huh?) over at TPM Cafe, including a reference that apparenlty Ms. Miller crafted her own "embed" agreement in Iraq that Rumsfeld had to sign off on.

There was a lot of criticism of "embedded" reporters when the war in Iraq started; now we begin to realize how legitimate that was. Ms. Miller was no Armstrong Williams: she was worse.

And, at Huffington Post, Jane Hamsher reaches the same conclusion I did: Judy is lying, and had no deal with Fitzgerald. No one else seems to be mentioning the obvious on that, so I will: when a witness "can't recall," especially an important piece of information, it means the witness doesn't want to, and figures you'll never catch them in that lie, since they are the only one who would know. "I can't recall" is a "safe" dodge, because you might be "reminded," but that doesn't mean you were lying when your memory was empty.

Why does she still have a job with the "newspaper of record"?

UPDATE: Not "breaking news" (blogs have almost too much of that, I sometimes think), but E&P has caught onto this curious incident of the dog in the night (or "Why Judy Didn't Bark), and clearly this isn't just odd to a non-journalist. As Bill Lynch says, former White House and national security correspondent for CBS: "[I]f any official had ever offered me a security clearance, my instincts would have sent me running. I am gravely disappointed Ms. Miller did not do likewise."

This may be the "Katrina" for the NYT. There's also the as yet unanswered question: what does Fitzgeral know about Ms. Miller's source? She is not a "target" or "subject," but might there be enough evidence from other testimony to bother with an "obstruction of justice" charge? There are probably good reasons not to pursue such a case, but at this point, public (and some professional) sympathy might lie with the prosecution against Ms. Miller, if the evidence were there. As Jane Hamsher asks: "how did Fitzgerald find out about that June meeting?" (The one Ms. Miller "remembered" after she testified to the grand jury the first time.)

The after-shocks of the social and political earthquake begun by Katrina (in many ways now, observable as the "perfect storm" against some of the rulers, both governmental and professional, of this country) may just be starting.

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