Sunday :: Oct 16, 2005

Treasongate: A Flame-ing Lie, It Seems


by eriposte

Picking up from my previous post on Miller-Times-gate, in her article Judith Miller said (emphasis mine):

It is also difficult, more than two years later, to parse the meaning and context of phrases, of underlining and of parentheses. 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.

Arianna has appropriately commented on this (emphasis mine):
When the Plame case broke open in July 2003, these notes were presumably no more than a few weeks old. But who had revealed Plame’s name was not seared on Miller's mind?

This is as believable as Woodward and Bernstein not recalling who Deep Throat was. It also means that Judy went to jail to protect a source she can't recall.

Actually, it goes much beyond this. Recall, Miller also said this (emphasis mine):
Mr. Fitzgerald asked whether I ever pursued an article about Mr. Wilson and his wife. I told him I had not, though I considered her connection to the C.I.A. potentially newsworthy. I testified that I recalled recommending to editors that we pursue a story.

Mr. Fitzgerald asked my reaction to Mr. Novak's column. I told the grand jury I was annoyed at having been beaten on a story. I said I felt that since The Times had run Mr. Wilson's original essay, it had an obligation to explore any allegation that undercut his credibility. At the same time, I added, I also believed that the newspaper needed to pursue the possibility that the White House was unfairly attacking a critic of the administration.

So, here is what Miller wants us to believe. She wanted so badly to write a story about Valerie Plame/Wilson and her CIA identity, but she just does not recall the source who gave her the name "Valerie [F/P]lame". Does anyone really believe this nonsense other than her partner-in-journalistic-malpractice Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., and her feckless boss Bill Keller? What was she going to say in that article - "A source I can't recall (and a former Hill staffer) said that Valerie Plame works in the CIA"?

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UPDATE: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (via Talk Left), Miller digs a deeper hole for herself. Try to believe she said this (emphasis mine):

She reiterated that she couldn't recall who told her the name that she transcribed as "Valerie Flame." "I don't remember who told me the name," she said, growing agitated. "I wasn't writing a story, remember?"
Look at the deception in that last sentence. A person who wrote (yesterday) that she badly wanted to write a story using the information she had, is today defending her claim of amnesia about the information's source by saying it was understandable since she wasn't writing a story. In other words, if she had been allowed to write the story it would NOT have been understandable to forget who the source was. But since she claimed she pushed for a story to be written, that would mean she had to have known the source's name in order to do so. Just revolting.

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Not to mention, her claim that she recommended an article be written, itself appears to be a fabrication, as the NYT article notes (emphasis mine):

It is not clear why. Ms. Miller said in an interview that she "made a strong recommendation to my editor" that an article be pursued. "I was told no," she said. She would not identify the editor.

Ms. Abramson, the Washington bureau chief at the time, said Ms. Miller never made any such recommendation.

On this particular occassion I am inclined to believe Jill Abramson because there was no justification for Miller to not reveal the name of the editor to whom she allegedly made the recommendation. [For more, see Atrios and Steve].

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