This blog digs into the Judith Miller journalistic embarassment:
October 17, 2005
Norman Solomon is the author of the new book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. For information, go to: www.WarMadeEasy.com
More than any other New York Times reporter, Judith Miller took the lead with stories claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Now, a few years later, she’s facing heightened scrutiny in the aftermath of a pair of articles that appeared in the Times on Sunday-- a lengthy investigative piece about Miller plus her own first-person account of how she got entangled in the case of the Bush administration’s “outing
TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:
* Iraqi Feminist Yanar Mohammed on the Iraq Constitution Vote *
In Iraq, early election results suggest that voters have approved a new
US-backed constitution. Millions of ballots are still being counted two days
after the referendum which was a simple "Yes" or "No" on whether to accept
* Should The New York Times Fire Judith Miller and Apologize to Readers? *
On Sunday, Miller revealed that she spoke with Scooter Libby about
undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame weeks before her name appeared in the
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A special counsel is focusing on whether Vice President Dick Cheney played a role in leaking a covert CIA agent's name, according to people familiar with the probe that already threatens top White House aides Karl Rove and Lewis Libby.
The special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, has questioned current and former officials of President George W. Bush's administration about whether Cheney was involved in an effort to discredit the agent's husband, Iraq war critic and former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, according to the people.
Fitzgerald has questioned Cheney's communications adviser Catherine Martin and former spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise and ex-White House aide Jim Wilkinson about the vice president's knowledge of the anti-Wilson campaign and his dealings on it with Libby, his chief of staff, the people said. The information came from multiple sources, who requested anonymity because of the secrecy and political sensitivity of the investigation.
In These Times – 10/17/05
Partisan War Syndrome
The left falls victim to a debilitating disease.
By David Sirota
A disease is running rampant through the American left these days. Its symptoms are intense and increasingly pervasive in every corner of the self-proclaimed "progressive" coalition. A good name for the disease could be "Partisan War Syndrome" - and it is eating away at what remains of progressives' ideological underpinnings and the Democratic Party's ability to win elections over the long haul.
The disease is simple to understand: It leads the supposedly "ideological" grassroots left to increasingly subvert its overarching ideology on issues in favor of pure partisan concerns. That may sound great at first glance. Democratic Party officials always talk about a need for "big tent unity" and subsequently try to downplay ideology. But as a trait of the grassroots and not just the party, Partisan War Syndrome could be positively devastating not just for issue advocacy, but also for Democrats' political aspirations as well.
By Marie Woolf
The Independent UK
Sunday 16 October 2005
George Bush told the Prime Minister two months before the invasion of Iraq that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea may also be dealt with over weapons of mass destruction, a top secret Downing Street memo shows.
The US President told Tony Blair, in a secret telephone conversation in January 2003 that he "wanted to go beyond Iraq".
He implied that the military action against Saddam Hussein was only a first step in the battle against WMD proliferation in a series of countries.
Mr Bush said he "wanted to go beyond Iraq in dealing with WMD proliferation", says the letter on Downing Street paper, marked secret and personal.
The Treasure, the Strongbox, and the Crowbar
A Tomdispatch Interview with Juan Cole (Part 1)
The man who starts my every on-line day is standing at the door. He's small-framed with short, wavy hair and fragile-looking specs. Nattily dressed in a dark suit and tie, he apologizes, as he enters, for being so formally togged out on a Sunday morning. As it happens, I'm but a pit stop on the way to an afternoon TV interview at the PBS program Great Decisions on one of his specialties, Iran.
This is, of course, Juan Cole. His website, Informed Comment, first came on line in April 2002, almost a year before the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. As he recalls his life back then, "I was just a Midwestern college professor. I taught my courses and wrote my articles about the Middle East. My interests were in religious institutions, religious movements, especially Shiite Islam and Sunni modernism. I knew where these movements came from. I knew the history of the Shiite clergy in Najaf back to the eighteenth century. And I had lived in the Middle East off and on for a significant period of time. When my blog began, it was little more than gardening for me, a small hobby on the side to put up a few thoughts every once in a while, initially read by fifty to a hundred people a day." Now, it is counted among the top hundred blogs at Technorati.com, a site which follows such things, and may be one of the more linked to blogs on Earth. American reporters trapped in hotels in Baghdad read it regularly for the latest news from Iraq. The secret of his success? "I type fast," he says with a sly smile. "Seventy words a minute."
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: October 12, 2005 9:25 PM ET
NEW YORK Finally the Valerie Plame/CIA leak scandal has a song some (perhaps only the left) can dance to: a takeoff on the old Johnny Rivers hit, "Secret Agent Plame."
It's featured on the soundtrack of a DVD film about Karl Rove that's available at TakeBackTheMedia.com, titled "Rove's War." The song is written and sung (also with lead guitar) by someone whose name appears to be Symbolman. He also produced and directed the film.
The Rivers song itself was the theme to the TV series "Secret Agent Man."
The Web site has a link to an mp3 of the song and a 12-minute preview of the film.
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25 percent of the price will go to support AfterDowningStreet!
25-50 protesters expected at antiwar rally in Zephyrhills
The Nature Coast Coalition for Peace and Justice picked east Pasco for its rally to represent middle America.
By MOLLY MOORHEAD
St Petersburg Times (Florida)
Published October 14, 2005
ZEPHYRHILLS - When Brian Moore first began organizing protests against the war in Iraq, he drew fire of all kinds.
Catcalls, obscene gestures and swear words.
But in the past several months, Moore, 62, of Spring Hill said the reactions have shifted.
"We've just seen a sea change," he said, in the form of thumbs-up from drivers and honking horns.
By Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies
Thursday 13 October 2005
The constitutional process culminating in Saturday's referendum is not a sign of Iraqi sovereignty and democracy taking hold, but rather a consolidation of U.S. influence and control. Whether Iraq's draft constitution is approved or rejected, the decision is likely to make the current situation worse.
The ratification process reflects U.S., not Iraqi urgency, and is resulting in a vote in which most Iraqis have not even seen the draft, and amendments are being reopened and negotiated by political parties and elites in Baghdad as late as four days before the planned referendum.
By David Phinney
Saturday 15 October 2005
Companies like Halliburton are importing 'third country nationals' - and putting them to work in horrible conditions - to fulfill their U.S. government contracts.
Jing Soliman left his family in the Philippines for what sounded like a sure thing - a job as a warehouse worker at Camp Anaconda in Iraq. His new employer, Prime Projects International (PPI) of Dubai, is a major, but low-profile, subcontractor to Halliburton's multi-billion-dollar deal with the Pentagon to provide support services to U.S. forces.
But Soliman wouldn't be making anything near the salaries - starting $80,000 a year and often topping $100,000 - that Halliburton's engineering and construction unit, Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) pays to the truck drivers, construction workers, office workers, and other laborers it recruits from the United States. Instead, the 35-year-old father of two anticipated $615 a month - including overtime. For a 40-hour work week, that would be just over $3 an hour. But for the 12-hour day, seven-day week that Soliman says was standard for him and many contractor employees in Iraq, he actually earned $1.56 an hour.
By People's Email Network
That's right. There are evil forces still working behind the scenes to try to cut the heart out of the anti-torture provision, which was passed 90-9 by the Senate, in the conference on the defense bill with the House. What part of NO TORTURE don't they get? They want to cut the CIA a blanket "get out of atrocity free" card, in actual effect, by omission, to AUTHORIZE torture by its worst offenders. Please contact all your members of the House and Senate at once and tell them this attempt to subvert the will of the people is a further outrage!
Message from John Bonifaz
What if you could vote to end the war in Iraq? Soon Massachusetts voters will be able to do so.
I am writing to tell you about HomeFromIraqNow.org, an exciting campaign that is getting underway in Massachusetts. The goal of HomeFromIraqNow.org is to place a binding initiative on the Massachusetts ballot to prevent the governor from sending any more National Guard troops to Iraq. A yes vote on this initiative will not only stop future deployments of the National Guard to Iraq, but will also send a very strong message to our elected leaders that we want them to end the war and bring all of our troops home now.
Captain's body is found at barracks
By Chris Hughes Security Correspondent
THE Army officer in charge of investigating abuse of civilians by British forces in Iraq has been found dead, it was revealed yesterday.
Royal Military Police Captain Ken Masters, 40, is believed to have killed himself. His body was found on Saturday evening.
An army colleague is said to have made the grim discovery in Waterloo Lines camp within the main British military base at Basra airport.
Ministry of Defence sources said last night it is not believed Capt Masters had left a suicide note and it is not yet known how he died. No firearms are believed to have been involved.
Ms. Miller Has Written Her Tale
By Madeleine Begun Kane
Ms. Miller has written her tale,
And as tales go, it's rather a whale.
Her memory's convenient,
On Libby she's lenient.
What a shame that she got out of jail!
There Once Was A Writer Named Miller
By Madeleine Begun Kane
There once was a writer named Miller,
Whose war mong'ring stories were killers.
The New York Times backed her,
Despite her detractors,
And now it's no longer a pillar.
There Once Was A News Gal Named Judy
By Madeleine Begun Kane
There once was a news gal named Judy,
Who failed in her journalist duty.
What Cindy Sheehan Said on Yom Kippur at Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in S.F.
By Rabbi Michael Lerner
Beyt Tikkun synagogue traditionally has a break between the Musaf service
and the Mincha service and we invite speakers/teachers to talk about
various social issues for which we in our country need to make atonement.
This year we had Cindy Sheehan talk about the Iraq War and Kevin Danaher
of Global Exchange talk about environmental issues.
Cindy Sheehan's presence caused a bit of a stir in the Jewish community
and I had demands from the local Jewish newspaper to be able to cover the
By Cindy Sheehan
I keep hearing on the news that this past Saturday was a relatively "peaceful" day in Iraq. Despite many reports already of alleged election fraud (shades of Ohio and Florida), George and his cronies are cautiously optimistic that the referendum for the constitution will pass. George Bush says that it looks like Iraq is heading for "peace."
I have two points to make about the referendum vote in Iraq on Saturday. First of all, George told us in his headlong rush to disaster in Iraq that Saddam had WMD's and that Iraq was culpable for 9/11. George and his band of war monsters still despicably say 9/11 in every major speech in defense of the invasion and continued occupation. He never said "regime change" or spreading "freedom and democracy." If the constitution passes, what will be the next devious justification for the occupation?
Arianna Huffington: Russert Watch: Let Me Count the Ways Arianna Huffington
Mon Oct 17, 3:27 AM ET
As I got ready to watch Meet the Press today, the question in my mind was: how will Meet the Press deal with the issue dominating the thoughts of those who care about the press this Sunday? I'm talking of course about the long-awaited "full accounting" by the New York Times of its role in the Miller case and Miller's role in Plamegate.
After all, even though the accounts, one by the Times and one by Miller herself, are full of holes, it's at least obvious that the the Times has taken a big first step in trying to deal with these facts: (a) the Times is a major news outlet, (b) the Plame saga is a huge news story, and (c) one of the Times's own journalists is a participant in the story.
Plame B.S. debunked
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 6:10 AM on October 14, 2005.
But Valerie Plame worked in an office?
When it first became clear that someone fairly high up in the leak of Valerie Plame's identity may actually get caught, a number of disingenuous arguments were deployed in the off chance that they may actually work.
One of these was that Valerie Plame, while technically being an undercover officer, actually worked at a desk job (with whatever subtle misogynistic undertones you want to take from that...), so her outing wasn't a terribly harmful move.
Put aside the fact that it ONLY MAKES SENSE as a retaliatory measure if it is somehow threatening and welcome the facts. Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer himself, pulls no punches in his critique of yesterday's Richard Cohen column in the Washington Post contending that no crime could have been committed because Plame "worked at a desk job" and therefore prosecutor Fitzgerald ought to just close up shop and slink away.
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 6:57 AM on October 14, 2005.
That's totally not my handwriting (Reuters photo)
Al Qaeda is not in the business of being demure. When they kill, they claim it. When they have a goal, they state it. I'm not saying they're standup folks, just that their goal is to telegraph power, not hide it.
So when Al Qaeda denies the legitimacy of a letter urging leaders in Iraq to prepare for an Islamic government upon US withdrawal -- a PR gift to an administration facing soaring opposition to the war at home -- you gotta wonder.
Framing Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas, menace 2 society.
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 9:04 AM on October 14, 2005.
"What does the President mean by 'total victory' -- that we will never leave Iraq until we have 'total victory'? What does that mean?"
Keep your chins up, Karl
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2005.
Odds of Rove leaving the White House are up... is Bush excited?
As Rove wrapped up a comfortable fourth do-si-do with the Grand Jury and sped off in a Toyota, Jane Hamsher notes that the odds that Bush's Brain will not have to leave have gone from 1-6 to 3-2. Which, of course, ain't good news.
Unless... unless, as Jane writes, Bush is ready to cut him loose.
"There is another camp of people who think Bush is only too ready to cut Turd Blossom loose. People from the Beltway in-crowd who have seen the delight Bush takes in personally taunting and humiliating Rove (which he does publicly and frequently by all accounts) think that this is the inevitable result of the single most damaging blow to Rove's career -- when the meme 'Bush's brain' entered the popular lexicon."
Frank Rich: Plamegate Is About “Protecting The Lies That Took The Country Into 'The Greatest Strategic Disaster In US History'
Frank Rich: Plamegate Is About “Protecting The Lies That Took The Country Into 'The Greatest Strategic Disaster In US History'"...
There hasn't been anything like it since Martha Stewart fended off questions about her stock-trading scandal by manically chopping cabbage on "The Early Show" on CBS. Last week the setting was "Today" on NBC, where the image of President Bush manically hammering nails at a Habitat for Humanity construction site on the Gulf Coast was juggled with the sight of him trying to duck Matt Lauer's questions about Karl Rove.
As with Ms. Stewart, Mr. Bush's paroxysm of panic was must-see TV. "The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts," Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post. Asked repeatedly about Mr. Rove's serial appearances before a Washington grand jury, the jittery Mr. Bush, for once bereft of a script, improvised a passable impersonation of Norman Bates being quizzed by the detective in "Psycho." Like Norman and Ms. Stewart, he stonewalled.
Explaining Plame, part 2: Judith Miller does Scooter Libby's laundry
Oct 15 2005 - 7:42pm
Okay, in Part I, I promised that Karl Rove would be next, but the new pair of Judith Miller articles in the New York Times dictates that I talk about her and Scooter first. (In a chronological sense, it's more appropriate anyway.)
Let's begin with a previously unheralded passage from the Washington Post two years ago, looking back at the weeks just before Joseph Wilson went public in criticizing the White House:
In early June, Wilson told his story to The Washington Post on the condition that his name be withheld. On June 12, The Post published a more complete account than [Nicholas] Kristof's [in the New York Times] of Wilson's trip. . . .
Sunday, October 16, 2005 · Last updated 5:16 p.m. PT
Miller story shows White House-CIA tension
By PETE YOST
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
WASHINGTON -- A New York Times reporter's accounts of her private conversations with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff capture a behind-the-scenes blame game between the White House and the CIA over the war in Iraq.
Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, complained that the CIA and other agencies were trying to shift responsibility to the White House over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction after the U.S.-led invasion, reporter Judith Miller wrote in a first-person story in Sunday's editions.
White House prepares for possible indictments
By Caroline Daniel in Washington
Published: October 16 2005 20:42 | Last updated: October 16 2005 20:42
The White House is bracing itself for the possible indictment of senior officials as Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, prepares to wrap up his two-year inquiry into the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name.
Further details about the role of White House officials were underlined in a report in the New York Times on Sunday.
Judith Miller, the reporter released from jail after 85 days after she agreed to testify before a grand jury, gave an account of her conversations with Scooter Libby, chief of staff to Dick Cheney, vice-president. She also admitted that Mr Fitzgerald had asked whether Mr Cheney had personally authorised Mr Libby to speak.
The Normalization of Treason, the Republicans' gift to America
by John in DC - 10/16/2005 06:52:00 PM
If a senior White House staffer had intentionally outed a CIA agent during World War II, he'd be shot.
We're at war, George Bush keeps reminding us. We cannot continue with business as usual. A pre-9/11 mentality is deadly. Putting the lives of our troops at risk is treason.
Then why is the White House and the Republican party engaged in a concerted campaign to make treason acceptable during a time of war? That's exactly what they're doing. On numerous news shows today, Republican surrogates, their talking points ready, issued variations of the following concerning White House chief of staff Karl Rove's outing of a covert CIA agent as part of a political vendetta: