dilemmanade
Thursday, July 07, 2005
 
On Plame...Posted by C

Here's my attempt at a narrative that accounts for all the seeming contradictions in the Plame affair:

Fitzgerald didn't subpoena Novak. Thus, Fitzgerald already knows Novak's source or sources. Novak talked. Why did Fitzgerald need Miller, then? Because Novak's source was Miller.

Someone outside of the administration leaked to Miller. Administration officials just confirmed it. So they are not strictly lying when denying being the source of the information. This is also why Fitzgerald says the case hangs on Miller's testimony. Only she knows the original-- criminal-- leaker. It may be that no administration official is actually guilty of a crime. All they did was confirm a piece of information already out there. Same with Novak. Fitzgerald knows that all kinds of people knew before Novak printed it. The major damage can be said to have been done-- and the crime committed-- before anyone actually printed the information.

Now, Novak, it should be remembered, did not support Bush II before he first won the Republican nomination, and was an early critic of war against Iraq. He may be on the right, but the right is not altogether monolithic or heterogenous. So color him as on the right, even a loyal Republican, but not a Bush lover.

And he may not like Judy Miller.

Perhaps Novak did not promise Miller confidentiality, and only agreed not to name the administration confirmers. Or perhaps he reasoned that the prosecutor's right to question him regarding the crime of outing a covert CIA agent trumped that promise. (Perhaps he even knew he would reason that way when the time came.)

In any event, Miller refuses to testify-- not to protect sources, but so that she won't have to take the 5th, and/or won't have her reputaion ruined by the public revelation that she was a willing tool of nefarious insiders: taking the Plame information and shopping it around, trying to find someone who would report it.

(Going back to the CIA's campaign of disinformation on Lybia during the Reagan administration through to disinformation on WMDs in the lead up to the war, Miller has been a funnel for propaganda from far-right political operatives directly to the front pages of the NYT. And she even helped Saudis evade prosecution in a Fitzgerald terrorism investigation. She is not an honorable person.)

Why did Novak take the bait? He didn't need the scoop-- he's rich and successful enough-- and must've known it was morally problematic. My best bet is that he guessed it would eventually hurt the leakers, and Bush.

Why did Miller think she would be safe? She didn't figure on Novak ratting her out, or on a Special Prosecutor, or on a Supereme Court judgement that didn't go her way.

Why didn't Miller report it herself? Either her editors refused, or she felt that considering the scrutiny she was under as to her role in the WMDs debacle, it wouldn't be wise.
 
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