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November 14, 2005


I wonder if anyone's going to ask her about one rather glaring inconsistency.

On the one hand, she told her editors that she wasn't the target of a "deliberate leak" regarding the Wilsons.

On the other hand, she says that after receiving the information, she asked her editor for permission to pursue it as a story.

Either she thought the leak was a story that might be pursued, or it just passed her by as a non-event. But she can't have it both ways.

I wonder which is true?

I think that is a glaring inconsistency, but I don't think that's entirely what happened.

Judy got Libby's leak in June. I'm not sure, but I suspect she asked Joseph Lelyveld, then acting Executive Editor, to print the story. Then, between then and July 8, Judy talked to other people about the story (according to her account). And the week of July 8, Judy claims she asked Jill Abramson to print the story. (Abramson denies it, but I think Judy's actually telling the truth here, particularly since she testified she was directing Libby to get her more information on Wilson, and Waas said Libby did so).

So, in a sense, I think Judy's parsing about being one of the 6 reporters who this was leaked to. She wasn't leaked to in July, when Novak may have been. She was leaked to in June, before the campaign began. But what she IS lying about is that she didn't try to pursue a story. She called multiple sources (by her own admission); of course she was working on a story. What she's trying to cover up (by mutual agreement with the NYT, I think), is that they knew about the story but wouldn't let her print it.


I was interviewed for a story once, a long time ago, by Bob Garfield. He's serious, smart and funny too.

So, JFYI, I just e-mailed him a note with a link to your post and told him that, quibbles aside, praise from you re Judith Miller is high praise indeed.


Thanks J i O. I was thinking of sending Garfield a note anyway. I'm glad someone who knows him did.

Quibbles aside, this interview is a great example of the kind of skepticism that is needed for journalism to fix its own house.


When will Judy Miller be asked publicly about her sources of pre-9/11 attack intel? It seems to be very much insider information which could have come from a number of her sources. Libby, Rove, Chalabi or Cheney.

See this link: http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/5/judycode.asp

In July of 2001, Steve Engelberg, then an editor at The New York Times, looked up to see Judy Miller standing at his desk. As Engelberg recalls, Miller had just learned from a source about an intercepted communication between two Al Qaeda members who were discussing how disappointed they were that the United States had never attempted to retaliate for the bombing of the USS Cole. Not to worry, one of them said, soon they were going to do something so big that the U.S. would have to retaliate.



I've explained before, the most logical explanation for that is that Richard Clarke told that to Judy. We know Clarke was looking at that intelligence. We know he was trying to get people to take it seriously. ANd we know he was one of Judy's sources.

All your attempts to suggest otherwise are unconvincing (to me at least).

I will continue to respond this way the next time you post this at this blog.

"Miller left jail only to be vilified for her pre-war stories about supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction," said Bob Garfield in his introduction. That seems to be the mainstream media's consensus, that Miller's errors predate the actual invasion, while in fact it was her post-invasion reporting that began to get her in trouble at the Times...

So when do you think journalists will ask Miller about her reporting as an embed? Seems to me the "smoking gun" about Miller's collusion with the Bush Administration comes when she gets to Iraq and discovers mobile bioweapons labs, discovers a smoking gun in the form of a person, purportedly an Iraqi scientist, whom she never reveals to the public, discovers a memo purporting to show African offers of uranium that later disappears (and is very possibly another Chalabi forgery), etc. You have written a great deal about this. So why hasn't a single mainstream journalist in this country gone back to read Judy's actual reporting while in Iraq?

And for that matter, why didn't Bob Garfield ask Judy why she had to testify twice? Forget about that "former Hill staffer" crap from her July 8th notebook and get to the point: Ms. Miller, why didn't you mention your June 23rd, 2003 meeting with Lewis Libby during your first grand jury appearance? Ms. Miller, why was your contempt not lifted until after you produced and testified about notes from that earlier meeting with Libby?

I had never heard of Bob Garfield before, but I now know only two things about him: he's lazy, and he hasn't been following the CIA leak case. That hardly sets him apart from the crowd... But it's a sad indictment of this pathetic narcissistic profession that so far, not a single journalists has asked Judy Miller the MOST obvious questions...

Wow, Judy is scary when the mask drops.

Three words: "Baseball cap guy"

emptywheel, have you been getting any responses from media on your critiques, from nytimes public editor re: that one a couple weeks back, or any others?


I don't know why you feel that you need to speak for Judy Miller on this particular point. The scant published information in no way indicates the nature of her source.

Unpublished reports of credible pre-9/11 threat warnings received by NYT and others should be analyzed as to determine the culpability of the administration in disregarding, ignoring or suppressing these warnings.

Was Judy Miller the only NYT reporter that got this particular warning? Were these (unreported) warnings COMMON KNOWLEGE amongst the mainstream media? If Judy Miller got these warnings, the administration should have also (obviously). There are a lot of unanswered questions.

Garfield might have some nice out-takes if one of you has access to their post-production archives. But, as Miller observed in the morning interview on the same network, some matters relate to the Libby trial and she won't go there now on the record. I look forward to E's essay on "the number of scientist/weapons find claims that didn't make it into the Duelfer report". I think Garfield has addressed the embed mode in other programs, though I usually hear only clips rather than whole programs aired. Sometimes he is insightful, sometimes less well researched than he could be, and other times too much is edited out.

So Garfield has done stories on embeds in the past? Tell me, were they as superficial as this one?

Garfield specifically said that Miller was criticized for her pre-war reporting, and mentioned nothing of her own dubious reporting as an embed. NPR listeners hearing this interview wouldn't have known that she had gone to Iraq and "discovered" mobile bioweapons labs, etc...

I'll admit, I have a lot of high expectations for a ten-minute interview. But come on, this is the "On The Media" show for NPR, and this is supposed to be Garfield's beat! If I had ten minutes with Judy Miller, I am sure I could have done a lot better. Yes, Garfield has her on the defensive, and she showed her true angry colors. But that July 8th notebook and the "former Hill staffer" attribution is just the sort of straw dog that Miller would prefer to joust at... (And by the way, another NPR interview last week did just the same thing, so Garfield broke no new ground.)

Miller now claims that she was merely using this "former Hill staffer" attribution as a way of listening to what Libby had to say, and that she would never have printed an actual story with this attribution. OK, Garfield should have replied, but what was the attribution under which she undertook the far more revealing June 23rd interview with Libby? Why didn't Garfield ask that (obvious!) follow-up?

If Miller wasn't answering questions about her testimony about Libby, Garfield should have told us so. There's nothing of that in the interview. I stand by my first impression: Garfield is lazy, and at best has only a superficial acquaintance with the CIA leak scandal. As Judy Miller herself pointed out, he hasn't bothered to read her articles. That's obvious to me, too.


I think John Lopresti makes a really good guess--that the outtakes from this may be the real gold mine. There's one seeming edit in particular, where they go from really heated about the sourcing issue onto another issue. I'd like to see the lines that they cut out.


No, I got no response. I tell you, the NYT will not mention the name of Joe Lelyveld in matters relating to Judy Miller.

Whatever you may think of Lelyveld, his 1986 book Move Your Shadow was a powerful read...

Oh, I think Lelyveld may have successfully shut down Miller in the June-July 2003 period. But that's why NYT don't want him to talk--because he'll validate all the big worries about Judy.

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