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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Judy the Obscure

Well we finally got the tua culpa from Judith Miller we've all been expecting:
"W.M.D. - I got it totally wrong," she said. "The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them - we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job that I could."
In other news, Mohammed ElBaradai and the International Atomic Energy Agency win the Nobel Prize for getting it right. You can't blame Judy. It's hard to hear when you're so full of shit it's coming out your ears.

Besides, she was otherwise engaged in screwing over everyone she ever touched in this walking disaster.

She sticks it to her willfully ignorant bosses:
Interviews show that the paper's leaders, in taking what they considered to be a principled stand, ultimately left the major decisions in the case up to Ms. Miller, an intrepid reporter whom editors found hard to control.

"This car had her hand on the wheel because she was the one at risk," Mr. Sulzberger said.
News flash, Pinch: she's been driving on the rims, and you're along for the ride.

She sticks it to her co-workers:
In two interviews, Ms. Miller generally would not discuss her interactions with editors, elaborate on the written account of her grand jury testimony or allow reporters to review her notes.
So much for the Hallmark Moment that was Judy's return to the newsroom.

Then she starts to get a little crazy and reckless. She sticks it to her lawyer, which is not really the best idea when he's the only thing standing between you and a ten year stretch in chick prison:
Mr. Bennett, who by now had carefully reviewed Ms. Miller's extensive notes taken from two interviews with Mr. Libby, assured Mr. Fitzgerald that Ms. Miller had only one meaningful source. Mr. Fitzgerald agreed to limit his questions to Mr. Libby and the Wilson matter.
Which would have been fine if it was true, but unfortunately Judy left one thing out:
On one page of my interview notes, for example, I wrote the name "Valerie Flame." Yet, as I told Mr. Fitzgerald, I simply could not recall where that came from, when I wrote it or why the name was misspelled.

I testified that I did not believe the name came from Mr. Libby, in part because the notation does not appear in the same part of my notebook as the interview notes from him.
Which means Judy DID have another source, and Bennett went to Fitzgerald and sold him a big, fat load of bullshit in order to cut a deal for his client and get the limited testimony she was so proud of:
Without both agreements, I would not have testified and would still be in jail.
Yeah you are PRETTY clever, Judy ol' gal. Get yourself a deal to preserve your "principles" by punking your lawyer and getting him to sell one of the toughest US attorneys in the country a bill of goods.

Wow, you are sharp.

Judy skillfully avoids revealing in the article specifically when in the timeline this "unremembered source" (*cough*) revealed to her the identity of "Valerie Flame."

She had two sets of notes -- one she turned over to Fitzgerald covering her July 8 and July 13, 2003 meetings with Libby, which she testified about in her original September 30 command performance before the grand jury. Then there are the one she "discovered" buried in her desk at the Times covering the June 23, 2003 meeting.

(As a side note, no wonder she was so nervous in prison. If I had incriminating evidence that could send me to the slam indefinitely that was sitting in the midst of a bunch of people by whom I was pretty much universally hated, I'd be thinking "I owed it to myself" to get the fuck out of there, too. Hey -- how did Fitzgerald find out about that June meeting?)

Adam Entous of Reuters says that the "Flame" reference appeared in the July notes:
Miller also disclosed for the first time that the notebook she used for an interview with Libby in July 2003 contained the name "Valerie Flame," a clear reference to Valerie Plame, the covert operative whose outing triggered a sweeping criminal investigation that has shaken the Bush administration.
But unless Entous has some special inside information, and there is no indication he has any more than what appears in the Times, I think he's presuming something that isn't there. A careful reading of Miller's sodomizing of the journalistic tradition shows no indication of which set of notes the name appears in.

Indeed, inclusion in the June notes seems more likely. Bennett didn't seem to realize that Judy had any other sources before he went off on his mission to poke the pit bull with a sharp stick.

And misspelling a name like that is a mistake you make the first time you hear it -- not the second or third or fourth. She says that Cowboy Scoots didn't bring up the name of Valerie Plame until the July 8 meeting, however:
I said I couldn't be certain whether I had known Ms. Plame's identity before this meeting, and I had no clear memory of the context of our conversation that resulted in this notation.
If Entous is right about the appearance in the July notes, and the second "Flame" source was already indicated by Bennett and dismissed by Fitzgerald as not being "meaningful" when he cut a deal for Judy to exclude any testimony that was not about Libby, Fitzgerald wouldn't be able to ask about that, right?
Mr. Fitzgerald asked if I could recall discussing the Wilson-Plame connection with other sources. I said I had, though I could not recall any by name or when those conversations occurred.
What's that? Why, that would be Patrick Fitzgerald asking questions at the time outside the scope of the deal to limit her testimony to Libby. Moreover, she did not refuse to answer. Which means that her original deal with Fitzgerald was, indeed, bustado.

So what was Judy doing in Fitzgerald's office all day Tuesday with her criminal -- not First Amendment -- lawyer Bob Bennett?

I'm guessing she was playing Let's Make a Deal.