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Judith Miller Going to Jail, But Not for Publishing Pentagon Lies


N.Y. Times Reporter Jailed for Refusing to Reveal Source
Time Magazine's Cooper Agrees to Testify, Saying Source Freed Him From Promise 'In Somewhat Dramatic Fashion'
By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; 4:09 PM

A federal judge today ordered the jailing of a New York Times reporter for refusing to divulge a confidential source, but a Time magazine reporter facing possible jail time in the same case reversed course and agreed to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA agent's identity.

Judith Miller, a national security correspondent for the New York Times, told U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan that she could not break her word in order to stay out of jail. Hogan then ordered her taken into custody immediately for civil contempt of court and incarcerated in the Washington area. She is expected to serve jail time that could last as long as the grand jury continues investigating, possibly until late October.

"This is a chilling conclusion to an utterly confounding case," New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said outside the courthouse after today's hearing.

Matthew Cooper, a White House correspondent for Time, avoided jail when he told U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan shortly before his appearance in U.S. District Court in Washington that his source had specifically released him from any obligation to protect the source's identity.

"I am prepared to testify," said Cooper, who wrote an article about the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

Miller, however, stood by her refusal to testify before the grand jury or provide any information to prosecutors in the case. Miller's testimony had been sought by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald even though she never wrote about Plame.

The case has stoked controversy over whether the First Amendment protects reporters who refuse to reveal confidential sources, even in defiance of court orders.

In a court filing yesterday, Fitzgerald urged Hogan, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to order jail time for both Cooper and Miller if they continued refusing to testify before the grand jury.

Fitzgerald argued that Cooper should be compelled to testify even though his editors had already turned over notes and e-mails that identified his sources for an article he wrote about the leak. The prosecutor wrote that "after reviewing the documents provided by Time, Inc., Cooper's testimony remains necessary for the Special Counsel's investigation." He did not elaborate on that point.

Fitzgerald also argued against Cooper's request for home confinement or, failing that, incarceration at a specific federal prison camp -- rather than the D.C. jail -- if the judge orders him detained for refusing to testify.

Cooper had argued in a July 1 filing that his grand jury testimony "would be duplicative and unnecessary" since Time had already provided the information -- against his wishes.

In a separate court filing yesterday, Fitzgerald had reserved his toughest criticism for Miller, whose newspaper has backed her refusal to testify on grounds that she must keep promises not to identify confidential sources in order to preserve access to high-level informants and uphold the public's "right to know."

Miller argued that sending her to jail would not change her refusal to testify, which was "based on journalistic principle grounded on the First Amendment," and would "result only in punishment rather than effective coercion." She also contended that, alternatively, "no more than a very restrictive form of home detention" would be appropriate. If incarceration were "deemed absolutely necessary," her lawyers argued, she should be sent to the federal prison camp for women in Danbury, Conn.

Fitzgerald said Miller's arguments were contradictory and suggested that continuing to defy the court's October 2004 order to testify would go beyond civil contempt and amount to "a crime," possibly exposing her to "subsequent prosecution for criminal contempt."

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Let's run it down:
1. Judith Miller promised confidentiality.
2. Other reporters have been ordered by courts to break confidentiality. And those reporters have gone to jail.
3. What is the huge fury over?

Of all the dirty tricks being played lately, this is the one that reporters are tipped off to while still in college: Don't promise a source anonymity unless you're willing to possibly go to jail for it.

And still Novak remains quiet. What's up with that?

Novak reveals Plame's name in a editorial or news article... I don't see him getting hauled before any Grand Jury. How is it that he gets to walk around proclaiming his, what, innocence?

I have heard the Karl Rove was fired from Bush I's administration for leaking information to ... you guessed it...Novak. Mr. Novak didn't get into trouble then either.

What a shame.

Now will someone get the one who broke the federal law of revealing Plame's name in the first place. My goodness but this country is screwed up in terms of priorities...

This whole case is absurd. It's one thing to protect a whistleblower who leaks something to expose corruption, but this is a case where the leaking was the corruption - a pathetic attempt to discredit someone who spoke out against the Bush administration. Joseph Wilson was the "whistleblower", pointing out the false uranium claim, and some maggot tried to discredit him. This maggot and coward is the one whom Judith Miller is protecting. How pathetic.

It's just another way to intimidate the press who don't follow the party line. "Whoever is not for us is against us." I look for the President's goons to start coming for us in the middle of the night any time now. The thing is, there are more of us than there are of them...and if they get rid of all of us, who's gonna bake the bread, clean their houses, make, mend, fix...wipe their...um.

I understand Neocons are also worried about the drop in recruitment for the armed services. I call upon them to set a brave example for the rest of us. Let them encourage their own children to enlist as ground troups and fight brilliantly (how else) on the front lines of this illegal action.

I would look for something tricky here. This is just too strange, and you know that Karl Rove has to be in "damage control mode".

I agree. I wonder if the "source" will turn up to be some
"nobody" just willing to take "one on the chin" for the team.
. . . just sharing my gut reaction. . . peace

The court subpoenaed the documents. Isn't that stuff (evidence) supposed to become a matter of public record? They are a bunch of audacious, arrogant felons, I'll give them that. But you know, I don't care. The Governed (that's us) have to consent to be governed. For what it's worth, I want to withdraw my consent, but I'm not sure just how to go about it. I wonder if some of the red states would consider holding recall elections for their congressional reps? Time for more reading, I see. If we ever do manage to bring these people to justice, we need to examine every piece of legislation supported by them with a magnifying glass, and repeal any that need repealing.

Repeal legislation and rescind all judicial appointments as well. Those could fester our democracy for years to come. The right wing purist judges will have to forced out by any and all means possible.

It is a way to discourage whistle-blowers. I sincerely hope that some of these people have (to use Bush's terminology) cojones and will do what they can to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Is this any different from what John J. McCloy did in the 1950's for Otto Ambros and Friedrich Flick, and Prescott Bush.

This is like playing a nightmare backwards, when will it stop, What more is Rove and Bush hiding.

Where is America's Justice System, those Right Wing'ers, got it in their pocket... Just Business..

Sounds like some kind of vendetta against the New York Times to me, and we've seen in the Plame case that they're not shy about political and character assassination. This stuff makes me sick to my stomach.

On one hand, I am appalled that they are locking up a journalist and dancing around the first amendment. On the other hand, I have to ask...is it a possibility that the person that was her source is so powerful...that she'd face alot more punishment for revealing the source than she would for not revealing it?

And what's more than that...are we even sure that the person who gave her this information isn't the type to threaten herself or even her family?

I'm not ready to count out any type of bullying tactic.

You ask:
I have to ask...is it a possibility that the person that was her source is so powerful...that she'd face alot more punishment for revealing the source than she would for not revealing it?

What I found in the CBS article:

...
CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports Miller said: "I won't testify. The risks are too great. The government is too powerful."
...

That quacks like a duck to me!

I agree,we have a government that is threatening anything in there way!

All this high principled hypocrisy by in-bedded Judy Miller leads me to believe she is protecting her GOP Patrons behind a facade of journalistic principle. She clearly demonstrated her true colors while cheerleading and even directing the unit she was in bed with while invading Iraq. She had no integrity then, why should one believe she has any now? I think she's trying to protect Bush and Rove from obstruction of justice charges, not standing up for journalistic integrity

Miller didn't write an article, Novak did and outed Plame by doing so. Can someone explain to me why the hell is Novak given a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card and Miller takes the rap? Like most everything else in this administration, something smells like last weeks shit. Good new is that the foundation is now crumbling and great will be the fall of Bush and Rove.

All over the Internet and in blogs there are discussions about Free Press and
Journalism.

I fail to see what this has to do with this case. Miller is a journalist but this case has nothing to do with Miller as a journalist. Did she write an article? Did she report on a situation? Did she write an opinion as a journalist?

In this case, she was just another player. I fail to see any connection between the press and Ms Miller in this setting.

Who will Rove lay this whole thing onto, if he's the perp?

When things got bad over Iran/Contra they just pulled a fall guy out--crapped all over Ollie North. Was he into it?-- Well, O.N. has his deal with Fox News now.

So who are they lining up for the rap? Can Fitzgerald really get to Rove, Cheney, or Bush if they set up the leak?

Have a look at this? Is Rove just knocking some journalists around to get payback at Time and NYTimes? Is Fitzgerald truly an independent prosecutor? Look who hand-picked him!

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0706-20.htm
One leading suspect of having leaked Plame's identity is the president's chief political adviser, Karl Rove. Given how utterly Machiavellian Rove is, readers who take press reports of Fitzgerald's pristine independence at face value are touchingly naïve.

Given the stakes, do you really think this administration would let a Justice Department official just pick some highly independent prosecutor to launch a wide ranging probe -- one that could net Novak, a reliable administration toady, and the chummy high officials Novak talks to, say, Rove or Vice President Dick Cheney?

Nor is it an accident that this investigation, rather than fingering whoever inside the administration broke the law by outing Valerie Plame, is instead putting the squeeze on two news organizations that just happen to have been critical of the Bush administration, Time magazine and The New York Times, and by extension the entire press corps.

Ari Fleisher, the AIPAC Toady, disappeared himself at about the same time as this leak. He's kept a very low profile since then. Ari did it - but Karl put him up to it.

Angry Journalist, you are correct to be upset, but, you also need to understand that, if a murderer gives you information, it is your moral duty as a journalist to report that person, if not, you are aiding and abetting.
Please don't confuse your rights. The media and other so called reporters are telling us that this "is a sad day for journalists", no it's not.
More than 1800 Americans have died and god knows the current count of Iraqans killed. Now, would you still protect your source, knowing that you are helping to keep the murderer on the street and EVERYDAY knowing that americans are dying?

Angry Journalist, did you also know that Judith Miller was one of the people who was sent "white powder" at the New York Times?
Did you also know that Judy wrote MANY articles for the New York Times supporting for America to go to war?
I'm not a journalist nor lawyer, but if Judith admits that her sources was from the Bush camp, yet she continued to write articles supporting war because of "Weapons of Mass Destruction" then people will start speculating that something is fishy, and she knew more than what she claimed to know.
For example, is this perfect timing or what...
Judith released a book called "Germs", and what a coincedence, it made it to the Oprah show 6 days after 9/11 - here is a link to Oprah's website -the date is in the link: http://www.oprah.com/tows/booksseen/tows_book_20010917_jmiller2.jhtml

Now, as a journalist, do you think she might know a little bit more information about the Anthrax scare, pre war info and/or even more information than just about Karl Rove ratting out Plame's wife? Or was that pure luck for her to have her book lined up and ready to promote right after 9-11?

Concerned Citizen

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