Did Judy Miller commit perjury? Did her lawyers fail to explain to her that “I forget” can be perjury as much as any other lie?
The woman went to jail because, she says, she would not reveal the name of the person who told her that Valerie Plame, wife of anti-war figure Joseph Wilson, was a CIA employee. But she writes in her newspaper, The New York Times:
“Mr. Fitzgerald (Federal DA) asked me about another entry in my notebook, where I had written the words "Valerie Flame," clearly a reference to Ms. Plame. Mr. Fitzgerald wanted to know whether the entry was based on my conversations with Mr. Libby (I. Lewis “Scooter,” Dick Cheney’s general factotum). I said I didn't think so. I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall. Mr. Fitzgerald asked if I could recall discussing the Wilson-Plame connection with other sources. I said I had, though I could not recall any by name or when those conversations occurred.”
If we are to believe “Ms. Run Amok,” as she calls herself, the woman spent 85 days in prison to protect the name of a source she does not remember! Although news accounts said that Libby was Miller’s source, Miller says that Libby was not so what’s going on here?
From the start the presumption has been that the Administration was pissed off at Wilson for writing a New York Times op ed piece attacking the basis for the Iraq war and that outing the man’s wife was part of an attempt to discredit him. Would they really care that much about a minor figure and one-day story?
Or is that scenario wrong? Maybe it wasn’t the Administration that was pissed off but Ms. Run Amok, a woman whose rages are the stuff of legends, who was pissed off after reading in her newspaper a piece discrediting months of her pro-war reporting about Iraq’s fictitious weapons of mass destruction. It could be that she was plotting to ruin Wilson and that Libby has been protecting her and not the other way around.
Maybe the headline on this story should be changed to Discredited Reporter Plots Revenge. Wouldn’t it be a fitting end to this drama if this woman were to go to jail again – and not by her own choosing?