Friday, October 21, 2005

Should Judith Miller still be in jail?

As UPI worded it, “Miller was jailed…for refusing to cooperate with a federal investigation into the disclosure of a CIA operative`s name.” The CIA operative’s name is Valerie Plame and Miller provided Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and the federal grand jury a notebook of hers that included the name “Valerie Flame.”

The fact that Miller was in possession of the name (or close) was not in question. What it appears the investigation was seeking was from whom she learned the name. According to her
New York Times ‘personal account,” she testified that she “simply could not recall where that came from, when [she] wrote it or why the name was misspelled.” If true, why did she choose to go to jail for 85 days instead of testifying to her lack of recollection in the first place?

Most of the press accounts have revolved around Miller’s meetings with I. Lewis Libby and this was also the main topic of the personal account of her testimony (she mentioned the name ‘Libby’ 82 times in her story). Yet she claims that she
“testified that [she] did not believe the name came from Mr. Libby.”

By asserting that she does not recollect who leaked Plame’s name to her, she was, in effect, still refusing to cooperate.
Since Fitzgerald has been secretive about the investigation, it is possible that he was seeking other information. But if the grand jury was seeking the source of the name “Valerie Plame,” then the contempt charge was ultimately unsuccessful.


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