Saturday, October 15, 2005

Times distancing itself from Miller?

It looks like the New York Times has finally published a comprehensive story on the Judy Miller's involvement in the Valerie Plame affair. The long piece by Don Van Natta Jr., Adam Liptak and Clifford J. Levy is accompanied by a long piece by Judy Miller herself, recounting her grand jury testimony and her conversations with 'Scooter' Libby, Dick Cheney's aide. It seems to me that the Times, the editorial page of which was stalwart in its support of Miller's refusual to testify to the grand jury, is now cutting Miller loose. The story by Liptak et al repeats in various ways the theme that Miller was a pushy, independent reporter, who did what she wanted (and apparently continued to publish) regardles of her editors' efforts to rein her in. What's also apparent is that Miller went out of her way to protect Libby. Her initial refusal to testify was based on her feeling that waivers granted to her by Libby were not genuine, or that she was being "signaled" by Libby's lawyer to remain silent. Only after a personal conversation with Libby, in which Miller says she "cross-examined" him about his sincerity in granting the waiver, and recieved an answer in the appropriate "tone of voice," did Miller agree she was able to testify. Her account of her conversations with Libby shows that he discussed Valerie Plame with her on at least a couple occassions, but Miller still maintains that it was another source, whom she cannot recall, who spoke of Plame by name. Oddly, I think, there is nothing in the Liptak et al story about Miller's 'discovery' of notes she had originally failed to share with the federal prosecutor.

I'm anxious to read what more informed Times watchers at Editor and Publisher and Ariana Huffington make of this latest episode in the Plame-Miller-NY Times affair.

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