Treasongate: Miller's aspens
UPDATE: I realize I didn't make the point this post clear. The point is whether this was just a convenient anecdote to take attention away from the "aspens turn in clusters" aspect of Libby's letter. Anyway, if it's a lame post, it's lame and I fully accept responsibility for it.
Between my regular chores I've been taking a peek into my printouts of today's New York Times article and Judith Miller's
partial fiction report to try and understand more on the continuing saga of Judith Miller's journalistic malpractice and collusion with the White House Iraq Group.
In this post I want to focus on the famous aspens quote in Libby's letter to Miller.
Here is Miller's recounting of her grand jury testimony on this topic (emphasis mine):
Mr. Fitzgerald also focused on the letter's closing lines. "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning," Mr. Libby wrote. "They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
How did I interpret that? Mr. Fitzgerald asked.
In answer, I told the grand jury about my last encounter with Mr. Libby. It came in August 2003, shortly after I attended a conference on national security issues held in Aspen, Colo. After the conference, I traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyo. At a rodeo one afternoon, a man in jeans, a cowboy hat and sunglasses approached me. He asked me how the Aspen conference had gone. I had no idea who he was.
"Judy," he said. "It's Scooter Libby."
So, here we have yet another Mil-liar narrative. She went to Aspen, CO, for a national security conference. That is hardly what I would call a vacation. When she was subsequently in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (visiting Dick Cheney at his vacation home?), Libby asked specifically about the Aspen conference - not about an Aspen vacation.
When she was in jail faking it as a First Amendment "martyr", Libby spoke specifically about a vacation in the West, where aspens "turn in clusters."
Why would vacation = conference?
One explanation: Judith Miller's idea of a conference is to use it as a vacation.
Another explanation: Judith Miller continued fibbing to the very end of her "report".
P.S. Before someone starts to argue that people treat conferences as vacations, let me say a couple of things. I've been to many conferences myself, including one in Aspen, CO. Yes, there was time for fun, outside of the conference. But it was not a "vacation" by any means. It was work, with some fun on the side. Secondly, if Libby mentioned "conference" previously, why would he change that to "vacation" in his letter. It doesn't make sense.