In the Plame Game that's going on (sorry, I couldn't resist that) one of the recent actions is two reporters having been threatened with jail time on "contempt" charges over refusing to release their sources that lead to revealing the secret identity of Joseph Wilson's wife. One of the reporters revealed all, and avoided jail, after his sources released him from the secrecy agreement. But, the story goes, Judith Miller's sources wouldn't and hence she had to go to jail. Another martyr reporter fighting for the right and need of reporters to keep their sources secret no-matter-what. Sniff, sniff, she's so brave.
The problem is, as Arianna Huffington points out, Judy Miller's situation isn't all that simple.
Judy Miller: Do We Want To Know Everything or Don't We? (By Arianna Huffington, AlterNet. Posted July 29, 2005.)
My previous coverage:
- NY Times mea culpa for publishing misleading falsehoods about Iraq's WMD
- How the White House Embraced Disputed Arms Intelligence or "Theoretically you can rebuild your Yugo into a Cadillac"
As I reported earlier, and Arianna Huffington describes, Judith Miller was a tool used by the neocons to spread their lies that justified the war. Is she a neutral unbiased reporter? Or is she a dangerous neocon agent in unbiased reporter clothing?
That the NY Times had to publish a mea culpa over stories they ran which contained falsehoods used in justifying the Iraq war is very interesting. What's even more interesting is how most of those stories they mea culpa'd were written by one reporter: Judith Miller.
For example, it was Judith Miller who "broke" the story concerning the aluminum tubes. You know, the claim that the tubes were for centrifuges required to refine the uranium they supposedly bought from Niger? Those tubes were for rockets, not centrifuges, and there was a lone CIA analyst who pushed the centrifuge story versus the whole chorus of CIA analysts who said that was balderdash. Yet it was the centrifuge story that reached the top, and it was Judith Miller who helped make sure that's what reached the top through her "reporting".
Martyr or villian? That's what Huffington wants us to consider. But then she goes further and offers a theory of why Miller couldn't release her sources. It's because she was the source. The theorizing goes that she is the one who called the CIA, learned about Wilson's wife, and she is the one who told White House officials, who then passed the information to Novak and others. Interesting theory, who knows if it's true.