Jul 29 2005
Tom Maguire has some news today from an Arianne piece that describes a plausible scenario running around the halls of the NYTimes regarding Judith Miller’s motivations:
But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It’s July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson’s now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has “manipulate[d]” and “twisted” intelligence “to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war — and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller’s credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he’s married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an “unnamed government official”). Maybe Miller tells Rove too — or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out
Interesting theory, and similar to others which note that Miller must run in the same circles as Plame – at least subject matter wise. But this would make Miller the ‘leaker of intent’. Again, I have doubts Plame’s employment at the CIA was a big secret. And Miller could have gotten that information from someone in the CIA. But for a CIA person to know Plame they would undoubtedly know whether Plame was an agent of the kind covered undered IIP. If they felt she wasn’t they might let on she worked at Langley.
But remember, IIP is designed to address leaks of malicious intent against our agents or their efforts. So Judith Miller, under this scenario, is the one who spreads the news about Plame’s association with Wilson and the CIA to damage Wilson’s credibility. Well, if this is the case she shouldn’t be in jail.
Which goes to a more basic problem with all the theories about Judith Miller covering for herself. She can invoke the fifth amendment if she is covering for herself, and therefore cannot be put in jail on contempt charges for doing so. I doubt her lawyers allowed her to face contempt instead of taking the fifth as a way to avoid the appearance she did anything wrong or illegal. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting spin? So I have doubts about any theory where Miller is in jail covering for herself.
OK, enough of the fantisful speculation for one day.