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The Case of the Missing Notebook
The latest twist in the Plame Affair only deepens the mystery: What's in the suddenly uncovered notebook that documents the previously unknown Judith Miller/Scooter Libby chat of June 25, 2003? Who told the prosecutor about it? And why, exactly, does he want to talk to Miller again?
By Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher
(October 09, 2005) -- If its recent track record is any guide, The New York Times, later today or tomorrow, will get around to confirming Michael Isikoff’s Newsweek revelation late Saturday that the missing notes Judith Miller suddenly found and turned over to the federal prosecutor on Friday in the Plame case were located in a notebook in the newspaper’s Washington, D.C. bureau. The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has now scheduled another meeting with Miller on Tuesday.
Besides the ongoing mystery of why the Times is always a step or two behind its competition in reporting on its own reporter, this latest twist raises all sorts of tantalizing issues. If anyone at the Times objects to raising the following questions: It’s your own fault for not disclosing more about this case yourself.
And, before getting to The Case of the Missing Notebook: What’s with the Times, which long supported Miller going to jail for 85 days, purportedly to stand up for a journalistic principle (protecting a source), now willingly turning over a reporter’s notes to the prosecutor? And did Miller turn over the notes herself, or did the Times locate and do the honors itself?
The notes in question, we now know, cover a Miller discussion with I. Lewis Libby on June 25, 2003, two weeks before Joseph Wilson’s WMD op-ed that was thought to have set the Bush backlash in motion. These notes, the Times had disclosed, do mention Wilson. Isikoff observes that the notebook is “significant because Wilson's identity was not yet public.