Before I mock the NYT editorial calling for answers, let me just review the NYT's implication in this Administration's abuse of power.
- When Judy Miller was subpoenaed to reveal the name of her source, NYT managers learned Libby was trying to coach her testimony, but they proceeded to support Judy's protection of Libby anyway
- At roughly the same time as they made the decision to protect Libby, they also decided to sit on the story of the illegal wiretap program--one of Dick Cheney's pet projects--so as not to affect the 2004 election
Twice, NYT's managers were accomplices to the Administration's attempts to get away with criminal behavior.
So today, that same NYT is demanding answers from Patrick Fitzgerald.
It’s conceivable that Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, has evidence that suggests the information in the memo was used in some illegal manner. Or his investigators may have learned something troubling about the second, unknown, source cited in Mr. Novak’s column, or about some other illegal activity. But whatever it is needs to be made public.
It’s time for Mr. Fitzgerald to provide answers or admit that this investigation has run its course.
Never mind that the NYT can't even get its facts straight, neither on its editorials page nor in its news pages. Never mind that the White House took two and a half years to comply with the FBI's subpoena for emails; we should hold the White House to the same standards of timeliness we're demanding from the guy investigating the White House. And never mind that the NYT totally misreads the significance of recent Armitage "news."
"Whatever it is" has been made public--it's just that news outlets like the NYT haven't reported it. So let me try to explain to the nation's paper of record what Patrick Fitzgerald has revealed. This is all documented in this post, which in turn links to the court documents in which Fitzgerald made this news public.
- Scooter Libby has instructions in his notes to leak something to Judy Miller (that journalist the NYT now claims was unjustifiably jailed, apparently having forgotten that the NYT itself was aware that Libby was trying to obstruct justice) on July 8, 2003
- When questioned about the notation, Libby claimed the instructions related to the NIE
- Libby went further to make certain claims about the NIE leak--that the leak was authorized by Dick Cheney and George Bush, that such an authorization was totally unique in his career, and that Libby was so worried about leaking the NIE to Judy that he double checked to make sure he was authorized to do so
- Libby later made claims that directly contradicted these assertions--most importantly, even though Libby claims the Judy leak was totally unique in his career, he also leaked the NIE to three other people: Bob Woodward, a journalist on July 2, and the WSJ
- Also, in spite of the fact that Libby says he was really worried about getting authorization to leak the NIE to Judy, he's not really sure whether he was authorized to leak the NIE to Woodward; his concern about the leak to Judy only extended to whatever he leaked to Judy
In short, Libby is almost certainly lying about what he was authorized to leak to Judy on July 8, 2003, in a meeting where Judy Miller admits he talked about Valerie Plame and where Libby tried to get her to falsely attribute the story. Or let me put it even more plainly for the news-impaired NYT:
Evidence suggests that the Vice President of the United States authorized the outing of the CIA spy who could prove Cheney ignored evidence that Iraq didn't have WMDs.
Now, if it weren't for the NYT's past complicity in the Administration's attempts to get away with criminal behavior, if it weren't for Judy Miller's very prominent role in this scheme to out a spy (and in efforts to help the Administration get away with that scheme), I'd attribute the NYT editorial to laziness or stupidity. They're the news outlet. It's their job to report this stuff, which Patrick Fitzgerald has made public. They shouldn't be blaming Patrick Fitzgerald, they should be blaming themselves.
But there is that nasty little detail that the NYT once shielded Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff for nine months, when they knew he was trying to obstruct justice, and the detail that they shielded one of Dick Cheney's illegal programs for over a year.
The NYT has bailed out Dick Cheney for his criminal behavior twice in the past. Are they trying to do so again?