No heroine’s welcome for reporter who spent her summer in jail

More on Judith Miller

In March 2004, [the
NY Times] published an astonishing mea culpa, singling out six articles
that had given credence to the administration’s claims about weapons of
mass destruction without sufficient evidence. Four of those were
written by Ms Miller.

This is kind of shoddy journalism is also known as “making shit up.”

Coincidentally, it was in the pages of the New York Times that this
whole saga first started. There, in the summer of 2003, a former US
ambassador to Gabon, Joseph Wilson [Valerie Plame’s husband], wrote an
article directly criticising Mr Bush for one claim he had made prior to
the invasion – that Saddam had been trying to import uranium from West
Africa to help him build nuclear weapons.

Some facts are now known, notably that the contacts in the White House
who were free with Ms Plame’s name appear to have included Lewis
“Scooter” Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, and Mr
Bush’s ever-powerful top aide, Karl Rove.

It is not beyond anyone’s imagination that both men could soon be facing criminal charges.

Karl Rove doing the perp walk? Be still my heart.

Doubts about Ms Miller’s version of events continue to intensify. She
said last week that she changed her mind because Mr Libby told her – in
a letter and on the telephone – that he was releasing her from any
confidentiality agreement and that she was therefore free to appear
before the grand jury.

But letters exchanged between lawyers seem to show that Mr Libby made exactly the same offer to Ms Miller exactly a year ago.

Even the New York Times, in a lead editorial, was forced yesterday to
ask the question: if that’s the case, why did she wait until Friday to
testify, and why did she spend most of her summer in a prison cell?

Indeed, what changed, why did Miller testify now?

Critics speculate the following, however: Ms Miller’s reputation was in
shreds after the Iraq invasion. Going to prison on behalf of
journalists everywhere provided a good distraction.

It appears The Independent is strongly implying Miller deliberately
went to jail when she didn’t have to, in an attempt to revive her
ruined reputation.