Skip to comments.Freed Writer Testifies in CIA Leak Probe
Posted on 09/30/2005 11:53:30 PM PDT by YaYa123
N.Y. Times' Miller Tells Grand Jury About 2003 Talks With Cheney Aide Libby
New York Times reporter Judith Miller told a grand jury yesterday about her conversations with Vice President Cheney's top aide in the summer of 2003, moving the two-year investigation into whether senior Bush administration officials illegally leaked covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity a step closer to its end.
Sources familiar with Miller's testimony say her account of two discussions with Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, that July are similar to the account Libby reportedly gave the grand jury last year.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Got to wonder why she really check herself into a jail cell. Did somebody want to drag this out as long as possible?
Fox Radio News last night reported that she was exempted from having to disclose all of her sources.
Who is she protecting?
This is an excellent piece of journalism from the Washington Post. It absolutely blows away anything the once-respectable New York Times has produced. My, how that paper has fallen.
She is protecting the sources who leaked the search warrant on the Holy Land Foundation.
"A source close to Miller said yesterday that her testimony does not implicate Libby as intentionally and knowingly identifying Plame."
It doesn't get much clearer than that.
But what about Karl Rove? No doubt this was all engineered by Master Evil. (/sarcasm)
There appears to be a missing piece: motive. Her claim that she finally rec'd release from Libby doesn't pan out. That type of misunderstanding being her explanation after 85 days in the pokey is just plain weird. I don't buy it either.
An interesting theory. Somebody on the inside is talking out of class.
Here is an excerpt from an article that predates the executed search warrant, FWIW ...
The New York Times
February 19, 2000
Some Charities Suspected of Terrorist Role
By JUDITH MILLER
Government officials investigating a decade of international terrorist attacks say they have found a common thread, Islamic charities and relief organizations that they suspect are being used to move men, money and weapons across borders. ...
The list of more than 30 groups with suspected terrorist ties includes two in the United States, the Global Relief Foundation Inc. and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, in Richardson, Tex.
American officials have been looking into Holy Land since the mid-90's. Some government officials recommended that the group be prosecuted in 1997 for supporting Hamas, the militant Islamic group. But others opposed the effort, fearing that it would expose intelligence sources and spur public criticism of the administration as anti-Muslim.
The inquiry appears to have been revived. Responding recently to a lawsuit by Steven Emerson, a journalist who follows militant Islamic groups, the State Department said it could not make documents about Holy Land public because the group was the subject of "an ongoing law-enforcement proceeding."
Google Groups : soc.culture.ethiopia.misc
And an article that describes what may have gotten away if there was a tip off of an impending arrest warrant. I am ignorant of the details of the Holy Land Foundation investigation timeline, so these snippets are random pieces of information.
Israel helped U.S. probe of major Muslim foundation
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Friday, July 30, 2004
On July 27, FBI agents arrested Holy Land founder Shukri Abu Baker and other former executives in raids around Dallas, Texas. Mohammed El-Mezain, the foundation's director of endowments, was arrested near his home in the San Diego suburb of Scripps Ranch. Two others charged -- Haitham Maghawri and Akram Mishal -- were said to have fled the United States.
Agreed. Plus the article shows, once again, that it is the reporter that brings up the whole issue of the Niger trip and not the administration official:
"...the two first met for breakfast on July 8, when Miller interviewed Libby about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. At that time, she asked him why Wilson had been chosen to investigate questions that Cheney had posed about whether Iraq tried to buy uranium in Niger."
I have not heard or read of one instance yet where a reporter claims that someone in the administration first called the reporter to push the story.
From all the leaks so far (for what that is worth) seem to show that no one in the administration violated the Intelligence Identities Act (still not certain if Plame was covert and does not appear they knew anyway) nor did they lie under oath (it seems reporters stories sync up with the admin officials). I think the only question left is to the extent the admin officials (Libby, Rove, others?) knew about Plame, where did they get that info? Other reporters, known gossip or some 'confidential' document? I think proving it was from a confidential doc would be very difficult and the leaks regarding the testimony so far give no indication of that.
I've read that theory. To me there are two plausible explanations and they both have to do with the special prosecutors deal with Miller.
Was she trying to avoid questioning about the Holy Land matter? Is this the same grand jury panel that was investigating that leak? If not, could he even ask her about it? Can a grand jury "combine" two investigations during the testimony of one witness?
The more plausible reason is that she had another source she's still hiding. Libby has already testified about his discussions with Miller. She had his waiver for 17 months. The NYT reports that she agreed to testify only after Fitzgerald provided her written assurance that he would ONLY ask about Libby. It sounds to me like she had another source (I think it was Wilson). But, why would the prosecutor agree to such a deal?!
This whole thing makes no sense.
Me either. And Matt Cooper, on Meet The Press after he testified before the Grand Jury, told Russert it was he not Libby, who mentioned Wilson's wife first. __________________________________________________________
"..MR. RUSSERT: You also write in Time magazine this week, "This was actually my second testimony for the special prosecutor. In August 2004, I gave limited testimony about my conversation with [Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff] Scooter Libby. Libby had also given me a special waiver, and I gave a deposition in the office of my attorney. I have never discussed that conversation until now.
In that testimony, I recorded an on-the-record conversation with Libby that moved to background. On the record, he denied that Cheney knew"--of--"or played any role the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, `Yeah, I've heard that, too,' or words to that effect."
RUSSERT: Did you interpret that as a confirmation?
MR. COOPER: I did, yeah.
MR. RUSSERT: Did Mr. Libby say at any time that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?
MR. COOPER: No, he didn't say that.
MR. RUSSERT: But you said it to him?
MR. COOPER: I said, "Was she involved in sending him?," yeah.
MR. RUSSERT: And that she worked for the CIA?
MR. COOPER: I believe so.
MR. RUSSERT: The piece that you finally ran in Time magazine on July 17th, it says, "And some government officials have noted to Time in interviews, (as well as to syndicated columnist Robert Novak) that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These officials have suggested that she was involved in her husband's being dispatched to Niger..."
"Some government officials"--That is Rove and Libby?
MR. COOPER: Yes, those were among the sources for that, yeah.
MR. RUSSERT: Are there more?
MR. COOPER: I don't want to get into it, but it's possible.
MR. RUSSERT: Have you told the grand jury about that?
MR. COOPER: The grand jury knows what I know, yes.
MR. RUSSERT: That there may have been more sources?
MR. COOPER: Yes.
MR. RUSSERT: The big discussion, Matt Cooper, has been about your willingness to testify... "
(Read the entire Cooper/Russert interview here) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8565312/
(Read the entire Cooper/Russert interview here) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8565312/
Maybe because the prosecutor already knows who the other source is.
I think the answer to those amounts to "no," regarding Miller and the Holy Land matter. More below on that.
The more plausible reason is that she had another source she's still hiding. Libby has already testified about his discussions with Miller.
That makes sense too, and I am drawing a blank on the charge to the investigator. If the charge is to uncover government leaks (which is what I think it was), then Fitzgerald may be happy to avoid questions outside of that - other than probing obstruction of getting to the bottom of "government leaks." Fitzgerald wants to get to the bottom of the case he's chartered with, and needs Miller's testimony. He is willing to play hardball to get it. She'd had enough at 85 days, and didn't want the time or other baggage that comes with criminal contempt. Maybe she was willing to be used as a pawn to advance a federal reporters shield law. Her name and situation was used liberally in testimony before Congress.
OK, here is what I've stumbled across regarding Miller and the Holy Land Foundation matter.
U.S. Attorney Can't Force N.Y. Times to Supply DocumentsLink to Sweet's opinion -> http://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/nyt022405.pdf
By John Mintz - Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 25, 2005; Page A03
U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled that a federal prosecutor in Chicago cannot compel the newspaper to turn over records of two Times reporters' phone calls in 2001 as part of an investigation into possible government leaks. The effort by U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald came in the cases of two Muslim charities accused of possible ties to terrorists. ...
On Dec. 3, 2001, Times reporter Judith Miller telephoned officials with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based charity accused of being a front for Palestinian terrorists, and asked for a comment about what she said was the government's probable crackdown on the group.New York Times v. Gonzales, 04 Civ. 7677 is cited often, but I haven't found its track in the appellate courts. The NYT v. Gonzales case is -NOT- part of the legal action relating to Fitzgerald's investigation into the Plame Leak. That legal action involved a February 15, 2005 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court. The petition for rehearing en banc was denied, and certiori was denied by the Supreme Court.
U.S. officials said this conversation and Miller's article on the subject in the Times on Dec. 4 increased the likelihood that the foundation destroyed or hid records before a hastily organized raid by agents that day.
On Dec. 13, Times reporter Philip Shenon called the Illinois-based Global Relief Foundation and asked for comment about the government's intention to freeze its assets because of allegations it had ties to terrorists. "FBI personnel learned that some of the targets [of the investigation] may be destroying documents," and agents "hastily assembled" a raid on the charity on Dec. 14, according to a report by the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
New York Times Co. v. Gonzales, 04 Civ. 7677 - (Case involving telephone records of reporters Judith Miller and Philip Shenon.) "Based upon the Second Circuit's interpretation of Branzburg in the cases just described, district courts in this circuit have recognized the existence of a qualified reporter's privilege derived from the First Amendment. In view of the foregoing, it is concluded that the Second Circuit, based on Branzburg, has recognized a qualified First Amendment privilege, applicable in civil actions and in all phases of a criminal prosecution, that protects reporters from compelled disclosure of confidential sources. Pursuant to this qualified privilege, the party seeking disclosure must make `a clear and specific showing that the sought information is:  highly material and relevant,  necessary or critical to the maintenance of the claim, and  not obtainable from other available sources.'"
The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press reports that an appeal was filed in late May 2005.
At any rate, Fitzgerald is presently bound by the lower court's decision in NYT v. Gonzales, and therefore cannot compel testimony regarding the telephone records, etc. of the Holy Land Foundation. That case is still working its way through the courts, and any links to current status of the case will be much appreciated.
I keep hearing that she either was, or might have been, cozy with Ms. Plame/Wilson. If this turns out to be true, the "other" source is likely the outee herself.
" As I read this, Miller basically backed up everything Libby said to the Grand Jury when he testified .."
It appears that Libby needed Miller to corroborate that he did not out Plame.
It was in Libby's best interest that Miller testify.
The mystery is why Miller resisted Libby's pleas to testify on his behalf, for so long.
Fitzgerald also needed Miller's testimony to close the loop on the investigation.
Miller was very coy yesterday when she refused to talk about the discussions between her lawyers and others.
The theory that Miller was protecting other sources or using her Plame testimony as a bargaining wedge in the Holy Land case,
( September 29, 2004 -- The Justice Department has charged that a veteran New York Times foreign correspondent warned an alleged terror-funding Islamic charity that the FBI was about to raid its office potentially endangering the lives of federal agents.
The stunning accusation was disclosed yesterday in legal papers related to a lawsuit the Times filed in Manhattan federal court.
The suit seeks to block subpoenas from the Justice Department for phone records of two of its Middle Eastern reporters Philip Shenon and Judith Miller as part of a probe to track down the leak.)
seems to make the most sense.
I doubt the dying media will ever get up to speed on this angle.
Is there an official document outlining the charge or are we all operating off of what the media sketches together? The assumption has been that it was solely about Plame and then when Fitzgerald subpoenaed the NYT telephone records, it was concluded that the investigation had expanded. LINK
"I have not heard or read of one instance yet where a reporter claims that someone in the administration first called the reporter to push the story"
Excellent point...in fact, the whole point of the investigation was the accusation that the adminstration was pushing the story to punish Wilson...that was WILSON'S accusation. Both Rove and Libby were responding to journalist's inquiries on either a seperate issue or a direct question. AND both Rove and Libby were right to correct a LIE that Wilson was promoting.
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