In a notebook belonging to Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, amid notations about Iraq and nuclear weapons, appear two small words: "Valerie Flame."
Ms. Miller should have written Valerie Plame. That name is at the core of a federal grand jury investigation that has reached deep into the White House. At issue is whether Bush administration officials leaked the identity of Ms. Plame, an undercover C.I.A. operative, to reporters as part of an effort to blunt criticism of the president's justification for the war in Iraq.
Ms. Miller spent 85 days in jail for refusing to testify and reveal her confidential source, then relented. On Sept. 30, she told the grand jury that her source was I. Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff. But she said he did not reveal Ms. Plame's name.
And when the prosecutor in the case asked her to explain how "Valerie Flame" appeared in the same notebook she used in interviewing Mr. Libby, Ms. Miller said she "didn't think" she heard it from him. "I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall," she wrote on Friday, recounting her testimony for an article that appears today.
It's a very long piece and I haven't read the whole thing yet, but from just reading the first few paragraphs, it looks like perhaps Ms. Miller's roots do connect with Mr. Libby's after all.
Of course, everyone should read the whole thing (as will I). Consider this an "open thread."
Update [2005-10-15 16:37:54 by pontificator]: Raw Story reports Judy is on an indefinite leave, and likely will resign (hat tip to thirdparty).
Update [2005-10-15 16:45:55 by pontificator]: Reading further into the article, it's not so clear whether Miller saved Libby's bacon, or instead will send him to the slammer. It's quite a complex article, and not so simple as my initial conclusion after reading the first few paragraphs. There will be time to talk about the article's full import, and I encourage people to do so in comments.
Update [2005-10-15 17:7:46 by pontificator]: Miller has her own account up on the NYT's website here.
Update [2005-10-15 17:35:48 by pontificator]: Most telling paragraph from Miller's piece:
Mr. Fitzgerald asked about a notation I made on the first page of my notes about this July 8 meeting, "Former Hill staffer."
My recollection, I told him, was that Mr. Libby wanted to modify our prior understanding that I would attribute information from him to a "senior administration official." When the subject turned to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Libby requested that he be identified only as a "former Hill staffer." I agreed to the new ground rules because I knew that Mr. Libby had once worked on Capitol Hill.
Did Mr. Libby explain this request? Mr. Fitzgerald asked. No, I don't recall, I replied. But I said I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson.
That, in a nutshell, is how the Bush White House abuses the MSM (which willingly goes along with the abuse), in order to lie to the public. Libby's anonymous sourcing demand is PATENTLY MISLEADING, and Miller fucking AGREES to it!!! BLEEAAAHHHH!!!!!!
Update [2005-10-15 18:9:56 by pontificator]: Methinks the following from Miller's article is a bad sign for Libby:
Mr. Fitzgerald asked me to read the final three paragraphs [of Libby's letter to Miller] aloud to the grand jury. "The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me," Mr. Libby wrote.
The prosecutor asked my reaction to those words. I replied that this portion of the letter had surprised me because it might be perceived as an effort by Mr. Libby to suggest that I, too, would say we had not discussed Ms. Plame's identity. Yet my notes suggested that we had discussed her job.
Sounds like to me as if Fitz is making the case DIRECTLY to the grand jury that Libby needs to be thrown in a deep dark hole for a long long time.