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The scenario sounds somehow familiar:  in support of a somewhat loopy Republican president's campaign against an Arab dictator, Judith Miller was willing to plant official US disinformation in the New York Times.  

The year was 1986.  

Nine years into her tenure at the New York Times, she participated in John Poindexter's disinformation campaign against Libya for the Reagan administration.  As Bob Woodward later revealed in the Washington Post, Miller planted Poindexter's propaganda in her own writings:  claiming that el-Khadaffi was being betrayed from within his own country, that he had sunk into depression, and that he had turned to drugs.  Miller went on to claim Khadaffi had tried to have sex with her, but lost interest when she claimed Jewish heritage.  

Khadaffi, you'll remember, was the 80's Saddam Hussein (back when Saddam Hussein was still cool).  Muammar was Reagan's "Mad Dog of the Middle East," which is kinda weird when you consider that Libya is in North Africa.  As you'll see at the bottom of this article, there was no event on earth that Republicans would not attach to his name for the sake of justifying what they wanted to do in the region anyway.  He was our blame-sink at that time.  Other Muslims have since taken his place.  It's all still the same game, and Judith has been playing it since the days of skinny ties and perms.  

And so now, with the First Amendment drama playing out, a quick review of the material that's been building up on this woman for the last two years on the blogsphere reveals a much longer but very consistent career.  Judith Miller has been and probably still is an informal asset not of our government but of an American political faction.  From North Africa to the Mesopotamian, she has provided copy to support imperial adventures.  Perhaps she thinks her powerful patrons will protect her, perhaps she knows too much, or perhaps she's just too old to start over and simply needs to protect her accustomed sources.  Her access to them is what's made an otherwise utterly undistinguished career.  If it weren't for her usefulness as a propaganda outlet, over three decades, she'd have no content at all.  

This is not a question of freedom of the press, unless by "freedom" you mean the "freedom" to pass on government propaganda, which is a very strange notion of "freedom" outside of, say, North Korea.  


Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?

There used to be a carefully run but outwardly informal network of US intelligence operatives working in academia and journalism and in many other walks of life.  Volunteers, amateurs, ready to be tapped for some fragment of a mission they did not understand, they led otherwise unremarkable lives.  

Judith is one of those people.  Trust her amateur's sense of the dramatic to get the better of her.  The fact that she received a doomed David Kelly's final, forboding message and that she was one of the fake anthrax terrorist's targets would only further have convinced her that she was some Secret Agent, involved in a dangerous game with international implications.  It seems she went somewhat soft, as a result.  

After all, the perqs were outstanding.  One of the things that's always struck me about these pawns is how easy it is to beguile them.  Life is a party, whatever their party's moral pretentions may be.  Ehrenstein dug up the goods from old print sources a while back.  We rejoin our heroine shortly after she's earned her bat's wings on Libya, where she has learned that she'd been sitting on her real talent all along.  Access was, after all, a two-way street:  

... in the October 1989 issue of the much-missed mag:

There was every reason to believe that when Judy Miller was moved from her post as deputy Washington bureau chief late last year, her long-standing custom of getting indecorously close to highly placed male sources would end. She is attracted more to the power the men in her orbit have than to the men themselves; her first words upon entering a room are often "Okay, who's important here?" The list of middle-aged, quasi- available powerguys from Judy's colorful past is a long one, incorporating everyone from guitar-picking Republican national chairmen to anchorgirl-dating former assistant secretaries of State.
...
Such interpersonal skills Judy no doubt put to good use in her days as a corre-spondent in Paris, Beirut and Cairo. Regarded by her peers as a dogged, talented journalist, she received more ambivalent reviews for her after-hours work. Fellow female correspondents in Beirut had a very rough nickname for Judy - "Egregious Cunt" - which some of them abbreviated (E.C.) and had silk-screened onto T-shirts.
...
Judy's living accommodations in those far-flung outposts were ripe topics of conversation. Her bedroom in Cairo, for instance, had white shag carpeting and bedspread and curtains in an electric- blue-and-orange design. When a fellow correspondent took over her apartment in Beirut, it was discovered that although the place was to be let furnished, there were no sheets available. When news of this reached the city's press community, one unkind journalist commented, "She didn't want anyone to see her notes."

These kinds of connections, of course, would not last forever since the coin of her trade was, erm, declining in value.  Judith could, however, actually work to preserve her role as preferred input valve for random bullshit on the Arab boogeyman of the week.  She began cultivating new kinds of relationships with conspiracy nut Mylroie as well as with Pipes' unsavory thinktank.  In short, she found work in the Islamic Threat Industry where she had cut her teeth.  And business was good.  

When the full history of the Iraq war is written, one of its most scandalous chapters will be about how American journalists, in particular those at the New York Times, so easily allowed themselves to be manipulated by both dubious sources and untrustworthy White House officials into running stories that misled the nation about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
...
The reporter on many of the flawed stories at issue was Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and authority on the Middle East. The Times, insisting that the problem did not lie with any individual journalist, did not mention her name. The paper was presumably trying to take the high road by defending its reporter, but the omission seems peculiar. While her editors must share a large portion of the blame, the pieces ran under Miller's byline. It was Miller who clearly placed far too much credence in unreliable sources, and then credulously used dubious administration officials to confirm what she was told.

And of all Miller's unreliable sources, the most unreliable was Ahmed Chalabi -- whose little neocon-funded kingdom came crashing down last week when Iraqi forces smashed down his door after U.S. officials feared he was sending secrets to Iran.
...
One might have hoped that American journalists would have been at least as skeptical as the State Department before they burned their reputations on Chalabi's pyre of lies. But even the most seasoned of correspondents and the most august of publications, including the Times and the Washington Post, appear to have been as deftly used by Chalabi as were the CIA, the Department of Defense and the Bush administration.

What?  These journalists aren't old enough to remember the 80s?  

Miller refused to say who some of those other sources were, claiming their identities were sacrosanct. Nonetheless, her reportage appeared to reflect Chalabi's intelligence gathering and his political cant. At his behest, she interviewed defectors from Hussein's regime, who claimed without substantiation that there was still a clandestine WMD program operating inside Iraq. U.S. investigators now believe that Chalabi sent these same Iraqi expatriates to at least eight Western spy agencies as part of a scheme to persuade them to overthrow Saddam. An unknown number of them appear to have stopped along the way to speak with Miller.

If the double-agent spy business had a trophy to hold up and show neophyte spooks what happens when their craft is perfectly executed, it would be a story by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon that appeared on the front page of the New York Times on a Sunday morning in September 2002. The front-page frightener was titled "Threats and Responses: The Iraqis; US Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts." Miller and Gordon wrote that an intercepted shipment of aluminum tubes, to be used as centrifuges, was evidence Hussein was building a uranium gas separator to develop nuclear material. The story quoted national security advisor Condoleezza Rice invoking the image of "mushroom clouds over America."

... as if ... we'd been infiltrated ... by foreign agents ... using our news media as a weapon ... ?

"I had no reason to believe what I reported at the time was inaccurate," Miller told me. "I believed the intelligence information I had at the time. I sure didn't believe they were making it up. This was a learning process. You constantly have to ask the question, 'What do you know at the time you are writing it?' We tried really hard to get more information and we vetted information very, very carefully."

But Miller's entire journalistic approach was flawed. A few months after the aluminum tubes story, a former CIA analyst, who has observed Miller's professional products and relationships for years, explained to me how simple it was to manipulate the correspondent and her newspaper.

"The White House had a perfect deal with Miller," he said. "Chalabi is providing the Bush people with the information they need to support their political objectives with Iraq, and he is supplying the same material to Judy Miller. Chalabi tips her on something and then she goes to the White House, which has already heard the same thing from Chalabi, and she gets it corroborated by some insider she always describes as a 'senior administration official.' She also got the Pentagon to confirm things for her, which made sense, since they were working so closely with Chalabi. Too bad Judy didn't spend a little more time talking to those of us in the intelligence community who had information that contradicted almost everything Chalabi said."

Her long career as a propaganda outlet hardly distinguishes her, even in the 1980s.  Among these examples (.pdf) you'll notice that the same story keeps being told about different people to justify the same policies:  

Michael Reese, "Uniting Against Libya,"

Newsweek, October 19, 1981, p. 43. An excerpt:  
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Kaddafi . . . [is] ordering the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Italy. . . . U.S. intelligence also picked up evidence that Kaddafi had hatched yet another assassination plot -- this time against President Reagan.

Fay Willey, "Kaddafi's Latest Plot," Newsweek, November 9, 1981, p. 29. An excerpt:  
U.S. intelligence believes that Libyan strongman Muammar Kaddafi is planning terrorist attacks on four American embassies in Western Europe.

John Brecher, "New Threats From Kaddafi," Newsweek, November 30, 1981, p. 51. An excerpt:  
[S]enior American officials told NEWSWEEK, Kaddafi's talk appears to be more than bluster. These officials say Kaddafi has expanded his hit list to include Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger -- and that he has equipped special assassination squads with bazookas, grenade launchers and even portable SAM-7 missiles capable of bringing down the President's plane.

"The Kaddafi Hit Squad At Large?," Newsweek, December 14, 1981, p. 36. An excerpt:  
[A]n assassination squad dispatched by Libyan strongman Muammar Kaddafi [has] entered the United States.

David M. Alpern, "Coping With a Plot to Kill the President," Newsweek, December 21, 1981, p. 16. An excerpt:  
Security around [President Reagan] tightened amid intelligence reports that placed his potential assassins either in the country or on its borders preparing to strike.

Duncan Campbell and Patrick Forbes, "Tale of Anti-Reagan Hit Team Was 'Fraud'," New Statesman (U.K.), August 16, 1985, p. 6 (reporting that a secret official U.S. list of fourteen alleged "Libyan terrorists" was in fact a list of prominent members of the Lebanese Shiite party Amal, including its leader Nabih Berri and the religious leader of the Lebanese Shiite community, with most of the rest being aging Lebanese politicians; to compound the absurdity, the Amal party is passionately anti-Libyan)

On a later Reagan administration claim that Libya was planning to overthrow the government of the Sudan, see for example

Bernard Gwertzman, "Shultz Asserts Libyan Threat Has 'Receded,'" New York Times, February 21, 1983, p. A1. An excerpt:  
Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that what the Reagan Administration believed last week was a military threat by Libya against the Sudan had now "receded. . . ." Mr. Shultz, in his television appearance, said, "The President of the United States acted quickly and decisively and effectively, and at least for the moment Qaddafi is back in his box where he belongs." His comments were in line with the White House effort Friday and Saturday to convince reporters privately that Mr. Reagan was actually in charge of the operation, even though at his news conference on Wednesday he made factual errors. . . .

Administration officials have said the Awacs [that attacked Libya] were sent at the explicit request of President Mubarak, but Egyptian officials and news organizations have denied in recent days that any such request was made or that any threat to the Sudan exists. The Libyans have denied any plans to attack the Sudan [across six hundred miles of desert]. The lack of any tangible threat from Libya was reminiscent of the Administration's problems in late 1981 when it aroused considerable agitation in Washington over reports of a Libyan "hit squad" being sent to the United States to try to kill high officials. Nothing happened, and it was unclear whether the publicity forced cancellation of the Libyan plans or whether the Administration's information was faulty in the first place.

For a later exposure of some of the U.S. government's disinformation campaigns, see

Jonathan Alter, "A Bodyguard of Lies," Newsweek, October 13, 1986, p. 43. An excerpt:  
[I]n August national-security adviser John Poindexter sent President Reagan a memo outlining what Poindexter called a "disinformation program" aimed at destabilizing Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi by generating false reports that the United States and Libya were again on a collision course. . . . Evidence that the disinformation campaign was under way first turned up on Aug. 25 in The Wall Street Journal. . . .

"We relied on high-level officials who hyped some of this," [Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Albert] Hunt says. . . . [The lies] were profoundly disturbing, even to journalists hardened by a lifetime of covering dissembling officials.  

Is this starting to sound familiar?  
.

Originally posted to Grand Moff Texan on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I went looking (3.99)
    for a review of all the crap that's been building up on her over the last two years and didn't see one, so this is my unqualified offering.  
    .  
  •  Breathtaking Job (4.00)
    Finally, someone put a decent bio together about Miller.

    "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

    by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:04:58 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, but (4.00)
      this was just a cut and paste job.  

      I went to see for myself and couldn't believe no one had put this picture together before.  

      Pass it on.  
      .

      •  Whew (none)
        Made the recommended list.  I was getting worried.

        "Hillary Clinton fathered a half-black child with a prostitute in Mississippi. I'll stake my reputation on it." -- Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman

        by bink on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:31:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you so much for this diary--I have (4.00)
        found myself so befuddled at times by what I think that Judith Miller thinks that her sources think that sensible people think that she's up to, that I just tended to gloss over the whole subject with an inadequate, "Well, she must be an idiot."  This description makes a whole lot more sense, and now my poor head can stop exploding whenever I consider anything to do with JM.  Agree with comment upthread, by the way--that photo is way too scary!

        ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

        by bibble on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:23:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Judy Miller (4.00)
    The Mata Hari of the PNAC set.

    The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

    by semiot on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:13:29 PM PDT

    •  Ewwwwww! (none)
      Now I'm gonna go wash my brain.  

      Hell, she's not even the Theda Bara of the AIPAC set!    

    •  Eewwww (4.00)
      Judy Horra

      "A half life-size carving of Siva, with four arms, was placed on the improvised stage with a bowl of burning oil at his feet.  [Judy Horra] was dressed from the museum collection, as were four supporting dancers who, in the course of the rite, would vie for Siva's attentions but retire in humility as the god directed his invitation to Margaretha Zelle [???] alone.  Bracelets from the collection embellished her wrists, biceps, and calves.  A belt from India, encrusted with previous stones, held a translucent Indian sarong in place.  She attempted to maximize what nature had given her a minimum of by stuffing with cotton wool the bejeweled metal breast cups she sported for the occasion.

      "The diaphanous shawls she wore as the dance began were cast away to tempt the god until finally, as the candelabras were capped and only the flickering oil light gleamed on Siva's features, the sarong was abandoned and her silhouette, with her back to the audience, writhed with desire toward her supernatural lover.  The four dancing girls chanted their jealousy as [Judy Horra] groaned and worked her loins deliriously.  All passion spent, she touched her brow to Siva's feet; one of the attendant dancers tiptoed delicately forward and threw a gold lamé cloth across the kneeling figure, enabling her to rise and take the applause."

      The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

      by semiot on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yikes (none)
      Anyone have a picture of the body they all- strike that- we all paid for?
  •  Kudos! (none)
    Outstanding work, as always.

    Not just recommended but bookmarked for future reference as well.

    Grazie mille, GMT.

  •  Miller didn't have (3.83)
    trouble naming a source not too long ago...

    The Source of the Trouble

    One incident that still rankles happened last April, when Miller co-bylined a story with Douglas Jehl on the WMD search that included a quote from Amy Smithson, an analyst formerly at the Henry L. Stimson Center. A day after it appeared, the Times learned that the quote was deeply problematic. To begin with, it had been supplied to Miller in an e-mail that began, "Briefly and on background"--a condition that Miller had flatly broken by naming her source. Miller committed a further offense by paraphrasing the quote and distorting Smithson's analysis. One person who viewed the e-mail says that it attributed views to Smithson that she clearly didn't hold. An embarrassing correction ensued. And while the offense had been entirely Miller's, there was nothing in the correction indicating Jehl's innocence.
    •  IIRC (none)
      her source has already released her.  Made no difference.
      •  hmm? (4.00)
        am confused. are you saying you don't think revealing the source in the post above made no difference, or in the present case...

        cause I think the case presented above is quite important as evidence that Miller is not principled re disclosure.

        BUSH LIES, PEOPLE DIE

        by seesdifferent on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:09:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This leads one to ask (4.00)
      What in the world does Miller have on the management at the New York Times? Why does her byline still appear?

      I honestly believe we might not be in Iraq if supposedly liberal, reputable papers had done a better job of fact-checking the neocon hysteria.
      Do editors at the Times ever ask themselves how many people have died because of her false reporting?

      Now that she's gone to jail in defense of lousy journalism, they'll never be able to fire her. But perhaps they could use her talents to better effect:

      Give her an editor's nameplate. Let her read the next day's copy. And when an article catches her attention, send it back for further verification. Better still, just spike it.

      •  Miller's Like Robert Novak - (4.00)
        1. She's been around forever so

        2. Like Novak, she knows where all the bodies are buried, and

        3. Unlike Novak, perhaps, she also knows how everyone performs in the sack.

        No one wants her doing a tell-all on their tail.
        •  yupe (4.00)
          She knows a lot about Arab princesses too. She's been around the block few times.
        •  The NYT Ed. Board (none)
          using the names of MLK and Rosa Parks in their defence of her stance was really too overboard. With this additional isight, it is possible to understand why. We'll never know who she has "known" in the biblical sense at the NYT. But their extreme defence of her would indicate that it is someone(s?) with lots of power or on the Ed. Board itself . . .

          Oh the horror of it all!

          "Tikkun Olam (to heal and repair the world) You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it" Rabbi Tarfun

          by RevDeb on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:29:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oops (none)
            used to doing this on Safari with spell check, not Firefox without.

            Should read

            The NYT Ed. Board using the names of MLK and Rosa Parks in their defense of her stance was really too overboard. With this additional insight, it is possible to understand why. We'll never know who she has "known" in the biblical sense at the NYT. But their extreme defense of her would indicate that it is someone(s?) with lots of power or on the Ed. Board itself . . .

            "Tikkun Olam (to heal and repair the world) You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it" Rabbi Tarfun

            by RevDeb on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 10:18:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  NYT? WTF? (none)
        Good questions.

        The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

        by semiot on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:01:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The NYT is being left out of this whole thing (none)
          when obviously they shouldn't be. At least it seems obvious to me. Haven't they been subpoena'ed?

          BUSH LIES, PEOPLE DIE

          by seesdifferent on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:11:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  if no story, then maybe no notes? (none)
            Remember in Time Magazine's case, Cooper had done two stories, and would have had to submit his notes for those to his editor to ascertain whether he had sufficient info

            But Miller apparently never wrote a story  --  thus I suppose NY Times could argue that she never submitted the notes for review

            now  --  it could be that an editor at the Times looked at what she had and said simply "no way -- you don't have a proper story"  -  then the question would be did the paper retain a copy of the notes or were they turned bacK?

            My guess is that issue was addressed to Fitgerald's satisfaction with the attorney(s) for the paper, and hence no subpoena.

            Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

            by teacherken on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 07:58:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  OT, but just heard on the news (4.00)
          that the NYTimes has revealed that Cooper's source was indeed Karl Rove.

          Just heard it on 5pm PST on the KTLA AM radio news.

          Is this for real?  

  •  Good God (4.00)
    Is this why Miller won't testify before the grand jury?  Is she afraid she's going to have to unveil her whole sordid past, and the Propaganda Factory's Board of Directors?

    At last, an explanation that makes some sense.  The moral posturing was a little ridiculous even for her.

    Lies are the new truth.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:34:42 PM PDT

    •  Again (4.00)
      spread the word.  

      The answer is so simple, it's no wonder they're braying about the First Amendment.  

      The prospect of the biggest suckup getting nailed is scaring the everliving shit out of all the amateur suckups in the press.  Much more easy to just rewrite what everyone else is writing and pretend it's news.  

  •  infiltrated (4.00)
     ... by foreign agents ... using our news media as a weapon ... ?

    Yes indeedie.  And she's not the only one.  To call her a "reporter", or to give her any privilege as a reporter, is a travesty.  Hung as a traitor would probably be closer to appropriate . . .

    •  Miller may be protecting Chalabi's spooks (4.00)
      This is the thing that infiltrated . . .  by foreign agents ... using our news media as a weapon ... ? Yes indeedie.

      To me it seems quite plausible that it is in fact "foreign agents" whose identity Miller is protecting in all this.  Consider this quote from "Not fit to print: Ahmed Chalabi and the NY Times"  by James C. Moore of Salon.com quoted above [without attribution]  by Grand Moff Texan:

      [Miller's] reportage appeared to reflect Chalabi's intelligence gathering and his political cant. At his behest, she interviewed defectors from Hussein's regime, who claimed without substantiation that there was still a clandestine WMD program operating inside Iraq. U.S. investigators now believe that Chalabi sent these same Iraqi expatriates to at least eight Western spy agencies as part of a scheme to persuade them to overthrow Saddam. An unknown number of them appear to have stopped along the way to speak with Miller.

      Consider this. Many of those defectors that Chalabi was sending around would have been debriefed by the CIA and during this might well have met with Ms. Plane who was at a key WMD desk at Langley.    They would not have known her real name, or who her husband was, or that she had for a long time worked overseas under non-official cover, but they would have known what she looked like and that she had an important job involving WMD at the CIA. 

      Now these same people would probably also know by sight Ambassador Wilson since he had been acting ambassador to Iraq.  It is very possible  that someone in Chalabi's gang of Iraqi spooks would have seen Wilson and Plame together around Washington , made the connection, and filed that interesting fact away the way people like that do.  Then when Wilson came out and attacked the  yellow cake thing these people would have regarded the Wilson/Plane connection as something that might be used to discredit Wilson.  If they wanted to leak such a thing to the  American media of course Miller would be the natural reporter for them to go to.

      But what would she do with this? She was too smart to try to make something out of it herself,  but she probably figured she could make some points by passing the tidbit  on to Karl Rove (but without disclosing its source of course).  Rove informally confirmed the Wilson/Plame link (without, however  finding out the whole truth) and then started to shop the story around indirectly according to his standard MO and also stood ready (as a high Whitehouse source) to confirm it if asked by journalists like Cooper who had learned it elsewhere.

      While there is no crime under this scenario,  politically there is a very embarrassing situation:  the top political advisor to the president has let himself become the unwitting tool of foreign agents who have dug up CIA secrets and want to use them to hurt the CIA.  So the foreign agents are not only using the news media as a weapon but also Karl Rove's unique abilities to spread whispering campaigns.  It would be wonderful it this would come out. But Miller has more reasons than "journalistic ethics" to keep mum about this.

      •  "Without attribution"? (none)
        I linked to it at the beginning of the text.  

        My own interruptions do not announce the beginning of new links, btw.
        .

        •  sorry, but what do you think (none)
          I linked to it at the beginning of the text. My own interruptions do not announce the beginning of new links, btw.

          You made it clear that you were quoting, but I had problems finding the source and I always like to link in a citation format.

          But what do you think of my scenario?  You clearly have thought a lot about this.  Does it work for you? 

          The problem is that there is no crime but that was always a long shot.  This would make it a nice story and would be political dynamite.  The problem is that if it is true the only people who know have very strong reasons never to talk.

          •  OK (none)
            I've heard conflicting things about Plame's assignment.  Azerbaijan has popped up.  So I'm not in a position to speculate about who might have seen her and when.  

            Wilson's connection to Iraq, however, is unambiguous.  He made a nuisance of himself to Saddam, so his face is likely to have been known.  

            Using Plame, whose faction at CIA seems to have pissed off the hawks, to discredit Wilson is the most likely intent.  But it also makes the mistake of assuming that a general audience knows what the leakers know and also share their opinions of said faction.  I would not put this brainfart beyond those now accused.  

            Miller would be the natural gutter to drop that into.  

            What she would do with it subsequently is unclear.  If she were in the habit of dropping details to show she's in the know (bobbing for shibboleths), they I think you're on to something.  

            Rove's own clearance would, however, have granted him access to this info, Miller or no Miller.

            Furthermore, Miller's reliance on Chalabi makes it likely, not just possible, that information useful to foreign agents would make its way to/through her, and by passing it on she might have been helping them, perhaps unknowingly.  

            But, if unknowingly, why take the fall for them/Chalabi?  

            •  Protecting Rove and Bush not Chalabi (none)
              Rove's own clearance would, however, have granted him access to this info, Miller or no Miller.

              I thought I heard it said that at the time this took place Rove was in the Whitehouse but did not yet have a formal security clearance the way he does now.

              But, if unknowingly, why take the fall for them/Chalabi?

              Right.  I would think that if a reporter thought that they had been used by foreign spooks to hurt the CIA they would not feel bound to keep that fact confidential.  But if she had really passed this on to Rove without disclosing the source she might feel that she owed it to him and his boss to clam up and protect them from the political shit storm such a situation would trigger.

            •  "bobbing for shibboleths" (none)
              What an image! Brilliant!

              The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

              by semiot on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 05:48:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  but then Chalabi & buddies prosecutable (none)
        under part (c) of Section 421, which talks about deliberate attempts to damage US intelligence.  And if the medium through which it was passed to Miller were good old pillow buddy Ahmed Chalabi, put that on top of his tete a tete with the Iranians and someone is goin to want to extradite him back to the US

        and since he knows who told him what he shouldn't have known, and how he played the neo-cons, you are talking about some serious problems, of the kind that someone might want to terminate the problem with extreme prejudice.

        No formal accusations on my part, so please, no one ban me!!  

        Seriously, I think it just as likely that it came from Bolton's shop.

        Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

        by teacherken on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:02:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There would sure be a good basis to investigate (none)
          but then Chalabi & buddies prosecutable . . . under part (c) of Section 421, which talks about deliberate attempts to damage US intelligence.

          Interesting.  I had not known about that section.

          (c) Disclosure of information by persons in course of pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents Whoever, in the course of a pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States, discloses any information that identifies an individual as a covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such individual and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such individual's classified intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

          They might not be "prosecutable" under that section.  In a trial like that the key question would be whether Chalabi & Co had been engaged in a "pattern of activities intended to expose covert agents." Still it would be a proper basis for the Special Prosecutor to investigate everything that whole gang was up to. He would be able to turn over a lot of rocks that might show that the real "pattern of activities" was intended to push the US into a war. 

          Of course that might not violate Section 421(c) but I am sure a smart prosecutor could find some sort of law that it did violate.  For example if you could prove that anything they told US spooks was a lie that would be a serious felony and the basis of conspiracy charges. If Miller fingered one of those guys that would let the Special Prosecutor go after the whole gang (not to mention their neocon backers in the administration).  Remember the way the Starr investigation moved around.

          Seriously, I think it just as likely that it came from Bolton's shop.

          If it did it would probably not involve those intercepts.  Would someone like Plame be talking about her work with a non-American person on a non-secure international line?

  •  Something else (2.00)
    She should be beheaded for the shit she has pulled. Awesome diary

    With a big ol' lie And a flag and a pie And a mom and a bible Most folks are just liable To buy any line Any place, any time ~ FZ

    by f furney on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:52:37 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic! (4.00)
    I love your writing.

    Especially this -

    (Referring to Khadaffi)

    He was our blame-sink at that time.  Other Muslims have since taken his place.  It's all still the same game, and Judith has been playing it since the days of skinny ties and perms.

    and this -

    Judith could, however, actually work to preserve her role as preferred input valve for random bullshit on the Arab boogeyman of the week.

    and especially this -

    Judith Miller has been and probably still is an informal asset not of our government but of an American political faction.  From North Africa to the Mesopotamian, she has provided copy to support imperial adventures.  Perhaps she thinks her powerful patrons will protect her, perhaps she knows too much, or perhaps she's just too old to start over and simply needs to protect her accustomed sources.  Her access to them is what's made an otherwise utterly undistinguished career.  If it weren't for her usefulness as a propaganda outlet, over three decades, she'd have no content at all.

    Kudos to you.  You hit the nail on the head and the writing is brilliant and entertaining stuff.

    I think Judith Miller assessed her options in the Special Prosecutor's investigation, and she chose to go to jail not as some noble deed but rather because she realized she could make a nice nut and a TV self-promotional tour lasting a couple of years off the book she'll write about her time in jail.

    She probably sees it as a career extending opportunity.

  •  Don't let Armando see this Diary! (4.00)
    You may get banned and deleted!

    Remember, she's protecting Liberty and the First Ammendment*!

    * On behalf of BushCo.

    Judy Miller...On the republican payroll for 25 years...And counting.

  •  Holy flerking shnit (4.00)
    Of course, I'm all for her First Amendment rights.  She has an absolute right to have her works published.

    Also, we have an absolute right as THE PEOPLE to force information relating to criminal activity from her under subpoena.  I think I missed the part about "Congress shall make no law requiring the revealing of anonymous sources."

    Holy loose lips, Batman!  If anonymous sources dry up because they are afraid their anonymous bullshit gets called, maybe these "reporters" will have to do their job AND DIG UP REAL, VERIFIABLE INFORMATION!

    We'll finally have a press free to report.  Right now, being beholden and captive to a government that hands out access like methadone, our media doesn't know the first damn thing about "freedom of the press."

  •  Send her a postcard! (4.00)
    from http://mediamob.observer.com/

    Here is her address in jail:
    Attn: Judith Miller
    Inmate Number 45570083
    Alexandria Detention Center
    2001 Mill Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314

    Let her know how much you care! I think it would be good to say something nice. Like "hey, could be worse. You could be one of those people who died in Iraq looking for those WMDs!"
    or help her pass the time with a quiz:
    1) The statement "was proved fucking right" more accurately describes whose reporting on WMDs in Iraq.
    A) Yours
    B) Joseph Wilson's

    Its good to show solidarity in these times of need and we all know that, no matter what you say, Judy is willing to go to jail to protect your right to say it. So don't hold back!

  •  More Miller nuttines (4.00)
    Daily Kos: Laurie Mylroie: A Neocon's book exposes intelligence cherrypicking

    How conspiracy theories took the US to war

    In the run up to the first Gulf War, Mylroie with New York Times reporter Judith Miller wrote Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, a well-reviewed bestseller.

    Mylroie believes that Saddam was behind every anti-American terrorist incident of note in the past decade, from the leveling of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a cranky conspiracist - but her neoconservative friends believed her theories, bringing her on as a terrorism consultant at the Pentagon.

    When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

    by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:22:58 PM PDT

  •  Her husband (4.00)
    The one thing I have never  understood in this Judith Miller bio business is the role her husband plays.  Jason Epstein has had an amazingly productive and distinguished career in publishing (for example he was the founder with his ex-wife,  of the NY Review of Books) and his bona fides with the NY liberal community are unimpeachable.  Yet he is married to (still) an operative for the neoconservatives.  Has she simply duped the old guy into staying with her?

    "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Lewis Carroll (CA-15)

    by kathyp on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:24:50 PM PDT

  •  Miller took command of a platoon in Iraq (4.00)
    Literally. Even the Pentagon was pissed

    Embedded Reporter's Role In Army Unit's Actions Questioned by Military (washingtonpost.com)

    By Howard Kurtz - June 25, 2003; Page C01

    New York Times reporter Judith Miller played a highly unusual role in an Army unit assigned to search for dangerous Iraqi weapons, according to U.S. military officials, prompting criticism that the unit was turned into what one official called a "rogue operation."

    More than a half-dozen military officers said that Miller acted as a middleman between the Army unit with which she was embedded and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, on one occasion accompanying Army officers to Chalabi's headquarters, where they took custody of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law. She also sat in on the initial debriefing of the son-in-law, these sources say.

    Since interrogating Iraqis was not the mission of the unit, these officials said, it became a "Judith Miller team," in the words of one officer close to the situation.

    In April, Miller wrote a letter objecting to an Army commander's order to withdraw the unit, Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, from the field. She said this would be a "waste" of time and suggested that she would write about it unfavorably in the Times. After Miller took up the matter with a two-star general, the pullback order was dropped...

    Miller's role with MET Alpha was controversial within the Defense Department and among some staff members at the Times, where one reporter was assigned to check up on whether other embedded journalists followed similar procedures.

    The MET Alpha team was charged with examining potential Iraqi weapon sites in the war's aftermath. Military officers critical of the unit's conduct say its members were not trained in the art of human intelligence -- that is, eliciting information from prisoners and potential defectors. Specialists in such interrogations say the initial hours of questioning are crucial, and several Army and Pentagon officials were upset that MET Alpha officers were debriefing Hussein son-in-law Jamal Sultan Tikriti.

    "This was totally out of their lane, getting involved with human intelligence," said one military officer who, like several others interviewed, declined to be named because he is not an authorized spokesman. But, the officer said of Miller, "this woman came in with a plan. She was leading them. . . . She ended up almost hijacking the mission.

    Said a senior staff officer of the 75th Exploitation Task Force, of which MET Alpha is a part: "It's impossible to exaggerate the impact she had on the mission of this unit, and not for the better." Three weapons specialists were reassigned as the unit changed its approach, according to officers with the task force.

    Several military officers say Miller led MET Alpha members to Chalabi's compound in a former sporting club, where they wound up taking custody of Sultan, who was on the Pentagon's "deck of cards" of the 55 most wanted Iraqis. The April trip to Chalabi's headquarters took place "at Judy's direction," one officer said

    When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

    by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:29:59 PM PDT

    •  Fucking a (4.00)
      This woman is out of control. A prison cell is where she belongs. Utterly insane.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:13:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like Al Capone, (4.00)
        Miller is in jail for the relatively minor offense the Feds could get her on.

        Not that the Feds would ever go after her for being a reliable disinformation asset for decades, but we all should relish this rare schadenfreude moment for the pre-eminent media whore.

        And, every day she's in jail is another day the NYT can't publish more of her awful work.

        The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

        by devtob on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:22:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  nope -- not an offense - Civil Contempt (none)
          whch would end immediately should she decide to testify.   And as of now she does NOT have either a criminal arrest nor a criminal conviction.

          Had she been setenced to criminal contempt, then it wold be a fixed sentence, and she might well be sent to a place much fruther from DC.   She has to be kept nearby in case (a) she decides to testify, (b) Fitgerald or judge decides to bring her in and give her another opportunity to purge herself of contempt by deciding to testify.

          Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

          by teacherken on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:06:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Miller's role (4.00)
      Clearly Miller is a participant in the Iraq debacle. She does not just report the facts.
    •  "Embedded"... (none)
      Maybe it's about time to coin a new expression to replace the word "embedded", which has become irremediably fouled and double-entendred.

      I also found this tidbit about a embedded reporters and a NYT colleague of Miller's, Elizabeth Bumiller, from early on in the war, March 30, 2003, here:

      I think if you were to google up recent terms, you might find none more overused in the last couple of weeks than "embedded." It's become something of a term of pride for reporters in the Gulf, despite the giant hint of collusion embedded in it, despite the weight of Pentagon propaganda that everyone knows lies behind it.

      (...)

      That thought arose last week as I undertook the Sisyphean task of reading through the 16 page freestanding "A Nation at War" section of the New York Times and stumbled within seconds upon a hilarious lead piece by Elisabeth Bumiller, "President, No Matter Where, Keeps Battlefield Close." It's a perfect example of embedded journalism, Washington-style, from a pussycat of an embeddee. Bumiller covers the "ins" (I can't quite bring myself to say ins-and-outs) of the White House. When the Library of America does its two-volume collection, Reporting on George and Saddam's World, I nominate this piece, a classic of embedded journalism, for inclusion.

      (...)

      Of course, collusion is a curious potage of access, flattery, bondage, and attraction (a description that fits embedded war journalists no less well).

      (emphasis mine)

      "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

      by Donna in Rome on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 03:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't ignore the Elephant in the Newsroom. (4.00)
    Everybody is going hysterical.

    I don't disagree with the vituperation, but think more carefully.

    What explanation is there?  Sorry to push this angle so much, but it makes all of her history make sense.

    My opinion (don't want to be sued here):  Judith Miller is an intelligence operative of the DOD working under Non-Offical Cover at the Times

    Go back and read this:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A28385-2003Jun24?language=printer

    Does that seem like a reporter's actions?

    Note: DOD, not CIA.  (cf Poindexter, Chalabi, et al).  This explains Plame-gate---she may have been the leaker to Rove, and she knew because her agency had access.  The DOD intelligence was at war with the CIA, because CIA didn't make a sufficiently gung-ho "product".

    This is why she's not talking---it's not any kind of honorable first amendment privilege or BS like that.   (In fact, if she were to squeal she herself would be very liable to major criminal charges, not to mention losing both her jobs and pensions....at best.   At worst: guantamano or disappeared)

    How else to explain her legendary access to such good government to sources?  Somebody mistook her for Bob Woodward?  Homie, please.

    Judith Miller is not a bad and biased journalist.  

    She is a superb undercover intelligence operative and propagandist for the DOD's political division.

    Impeach Rumsfeld now.

    •  We all really ought to go back (none)
      and read that article you linked up.  Rosenthal's protestations alone are priceless.

      4.

    •  If Armstrong Williams Got $50K (4.00)
      From the meager Dept of Education, imagine the payola a person like Judy Miller can command from DOD!

      Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

      by easong on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:50:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this sort of thing could be discovered (none)
      subpoenas of financial records etc. But I really don't think it would be necessary or desirable for DoD to pay her.

      BUSH LIES, PEOPLE DIE

      by seesdifferent on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, you're thinking (4.00)
      she leaked to Rove, not the other way around...and then he "shopped" the story...I could see that.  
    •  Well, yes! (none)
      All this may be true.

      But to say she's superb at what she has done?

      I think not.

      A superb undercover operative is one who is not the object of public speculation on every news outlet in America.

      Just as a superb advisor (I'm talking about Rove now!) is one who is anonymous.

      Rove is getting more coverage than Bush these days.  So he's failed at his job, which is to make his boss look good.

      And Miller has failed at her job, too, if her job was to disseminate DOD messages at the NY Times.

      Instead, the story has become all about her.

      •  And Yet Her Team Is Poised to Topple (none)
        the Constitution. Methinks they may have won what they came for.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 07:10:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or perhaps, instead, they will topple themselves. (none)
          A friend sent me this quote today.

          When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it always.

          - Mahatma Gandhi

    •  I remembered reading Howie Kurtz's the WaPo story (4.00)
      and grabbled a couple of paragraphs:

      New York Times reporter Judith Miller played a highly unusual role in an Army unit assigned to search for dangerous Iraqi weapons, according to U.S. military officials, prompting criticism that the unit was turned into what one official called a "rogue operation."

      More than a half-dozen military officers said that Miller acted as a middleman between the Army unit with which she was embedded and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, on one occasion accompanying Army officers to Chalabi's headquarters, where they took custody of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law. She also sat in on the initial debriefing of the son-in-law, these sources say.

      Since interrogating Iraqis was not the mission of the unit, these officials said, it became a "Judith Miller team," in the words of one officer close to the situation.

      In April, Miller wrote a letter objecting to an Army commander's order to withdraw the unit, Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, from the field. She said this would be a "waste" of time and suggested that she would write about it unfavorably in the Times. After Miller took up the matter with a two-star general, the pullback order was dropped.

      Times Assistant Managing Editor Andrew Rosenthal dismissed the notion that she exercised influence over the unit as "an idiotic proposition."

      Not sure what to make of Miller. (I think the "E.C." stuff was more than I needed to know.) And, fact is, we're all guessing as to why she's in the jailhouse now. But it really sounds like she crossed the line as an embed in Iraq.

    •  Even worse than that... (none)
      In addition to being an intelligence operative, I was very disturbed to learn further down this thread that Miller is also, incredibly, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR's stated goal is to bring a tyrannical world government to America to replace the Constitution and Bill of Rights. CFR chair Gary Hart said on Sep 12, 2001, that we should "use the opportunity provided by these terrorist attacks to implement a new world order."

      You can be sure there are wheels within wheels spinning below the surface of any issue that the CFR is involved in. There is of course no way a member of the highly prestigious and powerful CFR could ever be sent to jail against his or her will. The fact that Miller is nonetheless in jail suggests that there is some kind of ulterior motive at work -- most likely a PR-related motive -- behind her incarceration.

      She is not just taking one for the team to protect her CFR sources, but she is also inoculating the public -- especially the left-wing public -- to the idea of putting journalists in jail. Right now we all hate her for her slimy work and we have no problem with her going to jail, but her incarceration is her biggest feat of propaganda yet, because it sets a precedent for more genuine politically-motivated incarcerations of journalists to come.

      Alex Jones' "9-11: The Road to Tyranny." A documentary.

      by Texas Steve on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 01:27:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so why (none)
    is she gong to jail and not Novak?
  •  I didn't know (or forgot) (4.00)
    Miller had received a fake anthrax letter in the middle of the real anthrax mailing timeframe.

    This is one of the biggest terrorist crimes ever committed on American soil.  All told, the anthrax attacks killed more people and injured more people than did the Unabomber.  There publicly have been no recent breaks in the case.  The 9/11 Commission Report made no mention of the attacks.

    Swirling so closely to the nefarious WMD story as Fitzgerald has -- and Miller did -- raises my suspicions that he is feeling the gravital tug of much greater crimes.  Lawrence O'Donnell's reporting on the import of the redacted portion of the prosecutor's brief fuels my instincts.

    The unsolved anthrax attacks would certainly provide a compelling national security rationale for overriding journalist/source privileges.  It would also, parenthetically, helps explain the remarkably leak-proof grand jury and investigation.

    I refreshed myself on the timeline of the attacks via the Federation of American Scientists site.

    http://www.fas.org/bwc/news/anthraxreport.htm

    Viva Tin.

  •  My 88 (4.00)
    Thanks to y'all for bringing this before so many people today.  

    pontificator, chris, Kimberley, Ace Pumpkin, Manhattan Dan, Matt Stoller, RichM, bink, tmo, Chance the gardener, Mogolori, panhu, xysrl, Inky, True North, jimmyjames, vivacia, teacherken, drgardner, gogol, aed, BeBe, Gooserock, emal, Bob Love, genethefiend, LeftHandedMan, pollyusa, Poika, hubcap, Predator Saint, HStewart, silence, HeavyJ, Tom Wingfield, Polarmaker, jpschmid, Miss Devore, bronte17, courtjester, EricS, Stormwatcher, guyute16, Towel, Patricia Taylor, roses, Palladiate, drsmith131, Molee, lpettit4662, EdwardsRaysOfSunshine, Nate Roberts, semiot, ctsteve, Gonzophile, demokerryat, SairaLV, Moody Loner, nj mom, f furney, bekenbauer, GW Chimpzilla, Rageaholic, susie dow, crackpot, mbkennel, hoolia, jamfan, Scarce, bitterguy, PitPat, Cliff Talus, East Bay Molly Girl, gnat, outragedinSF, kd texan, spokanian, abbey, Liberalism, ChemGeek, aitoaster, subtropolis, rjo, juliesie, snacksandpop, Michael Alton Gottlieb

  •  Judith MiIler, Poindexter, TIA ? (4.00)
    After the poindexter post, I decided to see what google is saying about Poindexter, TIA and judithmiller. I was wondering if Judith miller is brought in/reactivate again as Poindexter was in charge of the new TIA project.

    Here is "name proximity' database

    between Poindexter and Judith miller, some of the more interesting liner

    # Council on Foreign Relations. Membership Roster. 2004
    # Covert Action Information Bulletin 1988-#30 (72-3)

    http://www.namebase.org/main2/Judith-_28nyt_29-Miller.html

    -------------

    Judith Miller it seems to be a deep propaganda agent. She is the pentagon tool if they want to plant story in NYTimes.

    List of Judith miller 'products'.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Judith_Miller

    ------------

    Somebody should use one of those automatic search engine to find out all link that Judith miller has on the net. That would be interesting to know. Judith Miller is a very shaddy character.

  •  After reading this, all I can say is... (4.00)
    ...she belongs in jail.

    And I think we need to mount a massive campaign against the NYT for not denouncing her. I can understand their decision to support her in this specific case on free press grounds, although I think she is abusing that right and should not be able to claim it. But it is unconscionable that she is still paid by the NYT. Utterly insane.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:07:02 PM PDT

  •  Judy is the antithesis of protecting sources (4.00)
    Think for a moment on why the Freedom of the press is important: To protect the whistleblowers from the powerful. What Judy is doing is the exact opposite: Protecting the powerful from a whistleblower
    Attytood: Why this journalist thinks that Judy Miller should go to jail

    Indeed, as recently as a few days, we didn't want to see Judy Miller ..sent to jail. But frankly, our reasoning was pretty much along the same lines that the NRA uses to make hideous arguments to allow assault rifles or cop-killer bullets -- the "slippery slope" argument.

    So what if the "source" that Miller (and Cooper) have been protecting may have committed a serious crime..?  In the "slippery slope" argument, those facts are irrelevant. If Judy Miller goes to jail today, under this thinking, it makes it more likely for a good and honest journalist who's on the brink of exposing true corruption to be jailed tomorrow.

    Today, we realized that the "slippery slope" argument is wrong, and so were we. We're not happy that Judy Miller is going to jail, but we think -- in this case -- that if she won't cooperate with the grand jury, then it's the right thing.

    That's because Judy Miller's actions ..have been the very antithesis of what we think journalism is and should be all about. Ultimately, the heart and soul of real journalism is not so much protecting "sources" at any cost. It is, rather, living up to the 19th Century maxim set forth by Peter Finley Dunne, that journalists should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable... That is why the ability of reporters to keep the identity of their true sources confidential is protected by shield laws.. Without such protections, the government official would not be able to report the wrongdoing of a president (remember "Deep Throat," the ultimate confidential source?), nor would the corporate executive feel free to rat out a crooked CEO. The comfortable and corrupt could not be afflicted.

    But the Times' Judy Miller has not been afflicting the comfortable. She has been protecting them, advancing their objectives, and helping them to mislead a now very afflicted American public. In fact, thinking again about Watergate and Deep Throat is a good way to understand why Judy Miller should not be protected today. Because in Watergate, a reporter acting like Miller would not be meeting the FBI's Mark Felt in an underground parking garage. She would be obsessively on the phone with H.R. Haldeman or John Dean, listening to malicious gossip about Carl Bernstein or their plans to make Judge Sirica look bad.

    We don't know what it's all about, except we do know that this isn't really journalism. It's about whether she continued her longtime pattern of aiding those in power and spreading their propaganda. What ever it is, we don't think it's protected by the shield laws that are on the books.<br<br> Nor do we think her jailing is the end of the world for a truly free press. And we're not alone. This is what Gene Policinski, executive director of the First Amendment Center, a free-speech advocacy organization based in Washington and Nashville, said today -- he doesn't seem too worked up.

    When morality is only about sex, no aspect of war - even the killing of entire families - can arouse criticism, much less condemnation.

    by lawnorder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:16:29 PM PDT

  •  A disinguished effort (none)
    Grand Moff!

    Research, compiliation that gives an extended clear biography and exposition.

    Cogent writing.

    Points clear, like dart punctures.

    •  Bill Schaap (4.00)
      did the real work many moons ago.  

      All I did was bring it back up.  

      She's part of a coordinated chorus that moved from blaming Khaddafi for everything in order to justify the hawk's agenda in the Middle East to blaming Saddam for everything in order to justify the hawk's agenda in the Middle East.  

      Neat, huh?  

  •  Thanks for this (none)
    I needed to be reminded how much I despise this woman.  Like her, I'm getting old and the mind doesn't remember everybody's sins.

    I think Judith Miller sounds like a great topic for a "Vanity Fair" killer piece.  Why don't you write to them and suggest it?

    How old is that photo up there?  I'm going to be catty and say that in the recent news photos, she sure looks like she's had some plastic surgery.

    I haven't read the comments, so maybe somebody already said all this.

  •  She's a whore too? (4.00)
    I don't know if I can take much more of this, first Jeff Gannon, now Judy Miller... What's happening to this country?

    Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:37:15 PM PDT

  •  speaking of Jeff Gannon (4.00)
    looks like the dKos truth squad should swing into action and do a report on Judith Miller along the lines of the Jim/Jeff "investigation."

    Needn't be quite so intense, but it sure sounds like she has quite a long history that could be worth exploring in an indepth fashion.

    Isn't that what investigative reporting is all about?

  •  The Turdblossom Tournament (none)
    Enter the Turdblossom Tournament and whack the mole that whacked a mole.
  •  The NYT helped Raygun get elected in '80 (4.00)
    with their incessant blathering about Carter. I remember thinking at the time that the coverage was terrible of Carter - the more often everyone says someone is NOT powerful or NOT naked or pink or whatever, the more likely it is that a lot of people are going to think someone is NOT powerful or naked or pink or whatever ...

    At the time, I suspected the East Coast Dem snobs of trying to get rid of Carter by using their buddies at the NYT.  In retrospect, there was Roger Ailes incredibly awesome message machine piping about Carter too.

    Anyway - I really didn't know who she was until I began reading THIS site this year !! the NYT has just been something to skim, like Pravda or Tass, so you know what the big boys want you to think you thought of yourself - therefore, I didn't bother reading who wrote which crap, unless it was one of Nagourney's DLC inspired hack jobs on Dean.  

    I know there are issues with her going to the joint that make me uncomfortable, BUT, the issues pertain to what the Press SHOULD be, NOT what the NYT is.

    rmm.

    Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders" http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by rmdewey on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:13:02 PM PDT

  •  Once again, I stand in the shadow (none)
    of greatness.

    Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

    by soonergrunt on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:39:51 PM PDT

  •  holy shit! (none)
    I feel like I now know everything there is to know.

    Thanks

  •  Sad to say that Judith Miller is where Karl Rove (4.00)
    and his gang of professional crimnals(Novak, Libby, Cheney, Bush, Gannon, Rice, Pearle, Leeden) should be,.... JAIL.

    Maybe putting her in (time out) will make Miller realize what damage she has done to this country. Oh yea, she is protecting Rethugs....so she will just hardered her resolve to protect the Bushtranostra Family. At least someone is doing time for some crimes against America!

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 05:22:52 PM PDT

    •  IF I stole $10 From 100 or 10,000 (none)
      people, I'd be in a scary jail with scary people trying to do scary things to me.

      Judith helped get a war going which has stolen HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS from 280,000,000 Americans, or about $715 from all of us to ... Halliburton and assorted criminals, and a little bit to the boots on the ground.

      So, she is Club Fed, some place catering to whatever diet she is on, some place with better medical than I've had in most of my life - she probably washes some dishes then reads all day, checks her email?

      Screw her,

      and Ken Lay, and Micheal Milken, and Danny Rostenkowshi, and Patty Hearst ... Lady Justice is blind - who has more gold on their side of the scale?

      rmm.

      Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders" http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

      by rmdewey on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 05:46:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The press is whining about how she such a (none)
        hero to take this step. What a bunch of bullshit!! Miller has blood on her hands, as does most of the Crimemob in the WH. To hear our awfull press tell it Miller is a saint....blah, blah, blah...

        She is no saint, she is a sinner...bigtime, ask someone like whos kid is gone because she carried the waterbucket of lies and printed them in that rag the newYorkLyingTimes.

        "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

        by alnc on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:33:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You forgot (none)
      Negroponte, one of the biggest criminals out of the lot of 'em.
  •  Kanan Makiya (4.00)
    from the "Pipe's unsavory thinktank" link
    Quite a few of Benador's other clients also write for the National Review (John O'Sullivan) or its online edition (Victor Davis Hanson) or the New York Post (Amir Taheri). Plus she represents some foreign journalists and scholars and Richard Pipes of Harvard. Benador even counts someone from the Iraqi National Congress (Kanan Makiya) as a client.

    I wonder what Kanan Makiya is up to these days.  He was the only neoconservative who seemed like a reasonable human being.  Or is that because he wasn't quite a neoconservative but an anti-Saddam scholar.  I wonder if he has had a change of heart about the invasion.
  •  Kudos (none)
    This is an outstanding diary. Miller's partisan associations alone should have disqualified her from ever reporting on anything political long ago. The Times is so arrogant it just assumes its readers don't know about such things and won't find out. But then there is her history of not only bad, but downright dishonest reporting. That did not disqualify her either. Perhaps articles like this one will finally embarrass the Times into distancing itself from her or at least into removing her from reporting on things like WMD and oil for food or the UN.

    Journalists like Miller go a long way toward explaining why a growing legion of Americans no longer trust the mainstream media as an objective news source. And the current efforts by the Times (and others) to turn her into Joan of Arc (see todays Times' letters to the editor and yesterday's editorial) only further tarnishes its credibility.

    Thanks for this well-researched diary.

  •  Thank you for an interesting diary GM. (none)
    Has anybody seen Judy in the same place or at the same time as Jeff Guckert/Gannon?  It seems like they have the same MO:  Regurgitate WH talking points and play "footsie" or whatever with neocons.  What a dreadful place these people have brought our government down to.  Who would ever think that getting a BJ in the Oval Office would be seem so benign.
  •  I really hope this has not already been posted (none)
    cause I'm nearly blind from checking. Here's a link to a pretty well balanced (yes there is such a thing) story on Miller from Bloomberg. And I also hope the linking is right. Why do I feel like a kindergardner?

    www.http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&cid=woolner&sid=ap8DDzkSy0nc

  •  A prominent journalism listserve begs to differ (none)
    with your diary.

    From IRE-L@PO.MISSOURI.EDU:

    Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., joins with other journalism groups and news organizations in condemning the imprisonment of Judith Miller of The New York Times and the possible judicial punishment of other reporters who refuse to reveal confidential sources when alternative ways of getting the same information remain available.

    These actions by the judiciary in cases that concern matters of political and national interest have a chilling effect on the role of the free press in a democratic society.

    IRE believes the imprisonment of Miller is a harsh and unnecessary act that stands little chance of doing more than punishing a reporter for keeping her word. Furthermore, putting a reporter in jail sends a disturbing message to the international community about fundamental American values.

    We believe the prosecutor and judge hearing this case should reconsider their decisions in light of the long tradition in this country -- dating back to the founding of the Republic -- that recognizes the vital "safety valve" provided by confidential disclosures and the key role of the press.

    In addition, we believe this case and others like it should convince Congress of the need to pass a federal Shield Law.


    Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church: "They're pro-free markets, they're pro-private property," he said. "That's what evangelical stands for."

    by towit on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 06:47:38 PM PDT

    •  when I read the word "values" (none)
      I recognize that there is evil in the room.

      BUSH LIES, PEOPLE DIE

      by seesdifferent on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:23:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IRE is frequently noisy (none)
      and mostly days, if not weeks, behind KOS in picking up on important news. Arguments there also break down in partisan bickering, and there's a strong conservative membership that sees all causes progressive as disillusioned. I joined hoping to become a better reporter. I lurk because it's funny. In my humble opinion, the members of this community are more skilled at reporting real news -- even with our tin-foil hats and left-leaning blindness.
  •  Uh-oh (none)
    Judith Miller claims Jewish heritage? A "shanda fur die goyim."

    "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn"t mind who gets the credit" - Robert Woodruff

    by Ellen Dana Nagler on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 06:48:10 PM PDT

  •  Same old, same old (none)
    IOW, wicked, wicked good!
  •  High dollar Presstitute. (none)
    She was smiling as the car drove her off to Club Fed because she knows that this is her moment of glory. She will make millions and be the darling of the RW.

    Damn! Wouldn't it be great if she were charged with Obstruction of Justice? Just a pipedream because Justice in Amerika is about as rare as truth.

    "Truth to the Right Wing is like sunshlight to vampires." Phil Frazier

    by Disturbed on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:13:59 PM PDT

  •  Awesome work (none)
    that was a very enjoyable read indeed.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:17:12 PM PDT

  •  Nice Shootin' Thar Texan (none)
    What a pleasure to read such a well researched and written piece!  Thoroughly entertaining.

    My favorite bit:

    'When a fellow correspondent took over her apartment in Beirut, it was discovered that although the place was to be let furnished, there were no sheets available. When news of this reached the city's press community, one unkind journalist commented, "She didn't want anyone to see her notes."'

    Says it all, about 'EC'. No?

    I gotta say too, with all the pro-ban/no-ban silliness around here today, I was really starting to wonder whether dKos was fast becoming relevant only to itself.  

    But being able to read something like this reinforces to me what the site is REALLY about, and gives me ample reason to continue hanging around.

    Again, great job.

  •  It's Miller time (none)
    Some additional info, courtesy of World Socialist:

    Miller's connection to these elements stems from her ties to an interlocking network of right-wing and pro-Zionist think tanks that includes the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Middle East Forum.

    The last of these groups included Miller on its list of "experts," available for speaking engagements on "militant Islam" and "biological warfare." Since her ties to the organization were widely reported--including by the WSWS and in an article written by Daniel Forbes for Globalvision News Network--the Middle East Forum (MEF) has quietly dropped Miller's name from the section of its web site listing its panel of experts. Whether the action was taken by MEF independently or at Miller's request, the intent is the same--to cover her political tracks.

    Led by Daniel Pipes, the MEF not only advocated war against Iraq, but has urged US invasions of Syria and Lebanon as well. Its stated goals for US policy include "strong ties to Israel" and a "stable supply and cheap price of oil." In addition to MEF, Pipes directs Campus Watch, a group dedicated to maintaining a blacklist of professors who are targeted for being hostile to Israel and US interests in the Middle East.

    •  Skimming the GNN article (none)
      One finds that Mrs. Miller was in violation of NYT ethics policy in her membership in the Middle East Forum. Maybe silence is the least of her worries...

      "Journalists have no place on the playing fields of politics." This is so as to not "do anything that damages The Times' reputation for strict neutrality in reporting on politics and government." Another prohibition says staffers may not "lend their name to campaigns . . if doing so might reasonably raise doubts about their ability or The Times' ability to function as neutral observers in covering the news."

      Whether paid or not, the rules continue, staffers "may not join boards of trustees, advisory committees or similar groups" except those pertaining to journalism. An exception is granted for such organizations as hobby groups, fine arts groups and youth sports -- that is, organizations "that do not generally seek to shape public policy." But shaping public policy, of course, is the forum's raison d'etre.

      •  Ethics policy violation (none)
        This is why (at the risk of activating dKos's silver hammer) it seems to me that there was high-level intent behind the NYT paying Miller's expenses and printing her lies. Perhaps the powers at the gray lady were simply too clever by half in dealing with the PNAC Harlot.

        The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

        by semiot on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 06:26:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I personally... (none)
    prefer this one.

  •  Bravo!! (none)
    That's all I can say.

    Sometimes, out of the most ordinary looking vessel can flow the most extraordinary wine.

    by normcash on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 01:37:22 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely fantastic diary (none)
    Top notch, well done Grand Moff old bean! Can't recommend this highly enough.  This woman is obviously a tool of the neo-feudalists and she does deserve to go to jail but she should also be compelled to reveal the name of her source.  To me it's blatantly obvious that she's fallen on her sword to save that piggy-eyed, Nixon-worshipping Kriminal.
  •  Reporting to google? (none)
    Why are you having everybody who clicks on some of your dailykos links report to google?
    ex:    http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=5&q=http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/7/3/17138/30618& amp;e=10187
  •  I'm wondering ... (none)
    ... about a hypocrisy angle where JM is a media "whore" but also has some kind of belief structure.  Do we know her faith (if she has one)?  Is she part of a christian fundementalist church?

    The reason I'm asking is I am Christian (Lutheran) and BushCo and the Rapture Right is giving my Savior a bad name and alot of baggage that He can handle but people like myself find upsetting.

    I wouldn't mind if the world knew the names of all the hypocritical right wingers using Christian values as their cover.

    Is your city ready for Peak Oil?  Do you think Bush cares?

  •  I want to ... (none)
    ... blow these people out of the water (baptismal), if need be.

    They only care about themselves.

  •  Turdblossom a Turncoat? You Decide. (none)
    Is W's beloved Turdblossom a Turncoat?

    You decide.

    Enter the Karl Rove Whack-a-Mole Contest!

  •  creepy (none)
    I just figured out who she looks like.  Her eyes and her grin have the same insane quality that Mia Farrow has.  Shudder.  
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