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Judith Miller to name Scooter Libby

 
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2005 03:31 pm
Myron Farber Addresses Miller Testimony
Myron Farber Addresses Miller Testimony
By Allan Wolper
October 20, 2005

The former New York Times reporter who spent 40 days in jail in 1978 for refusing to turn over his notes in a murder trial questions Judith Miller's decision to testify before the grand jury about conversations she had with a confidential source.

Myron Farber is having a hard time understanding why any reporter would agree to break a confidentiality agreement based on a waiver he received from a source.

"It wasn't on the radar [when I went to jail in 1978]," said Farber, a former New York Times reporter who spent 40 days in a Hackensack, N.J., jail because he refused to turn over his notes in a murder trial.

"I guess it is a different world today," Farber said in a telephone interview with E&P. &ldquoIf somebody had come to me back then and [offered a waiver], I still would be hard-pressed to give that person up. I know it sounds easy to say, but I would know that the source was doing it for me and not for him, so what kind of guy would I be to say, 'OK'?"

Farber declined to characterize the decisions to accept waivers from their sources by Walter Pincus and Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post and Tim Russert, the Washington bureau chief of NBC-TV, in the CIA leak investigation.

But he said he was confused by the acceptance of a waiver by Judith Miller of the New York Times while she was serving 85 days in the Alexandria (Va.) Detention Center. "Didn't this arise about a year ago?" he asked rhetorically. "Didn't the Bush Administration ask for those waivers?"

Miller bailed herself out of jail after agreeing to answer questions to a grand jury assembled by Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald after receiving a personal confidentiality waiver from I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Fitzgerald has been trying for two years to determine whether Bush Administration officials may have committed a crime by leaking the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, to syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other journalists.

Farber stressed that it was unethical to accept any sort of waiver from a confidential source. "I just can't imagine doing it," he said, explaining that he would not even consider accepting a waiver while he was in jail from any of the sources who helped him in his 1978 murder investigation. "An agreement is an agreement," he said flatly.

Farber said the concept of a waiver should be foreign to investigative reporters. "I am just against the notion of waivers. When I was in jail, the thought of accepting one never crossed my mind."

Farber says he's also concerned that the CIA case may discourage disclosures from sources without the resources to hire a high-powered attorney "like Joseph A. Tate" (attorney for Scooter Libby) to represent them.

"When I was doing my story, I was talking to the small fry who would tremble at the notion that they would have to spend their money to hire a lawyer," he said.

Farber's case has been cited repeatedly in light of the current CIA leak investigation. Farber refused to obey a court order to turn over his notes to lawyers for Dr. Mario Jascalevich, who was charged with murdering patients with a drug called curare. Jascalevich was later acquitted.

The Times stood fast -- paying fines of $286,000, plus hundreds of thousands in attorney fees -- even after it was held in both civil and criminal contempt. Then Gov. Brendan Byrne pardoned the newspaper in 1982 and reduced the fine to $186,000. And Farber never gave up a single note.

New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., in fact, criticized Time magazine after its editor-in-chief, Norman Pearlstine, turned over the notes of Matthew Cooper to the special prosecutor.

"We are deeply disappointed by Time Inc.'s decision to deliver the subpoenaed records," Sulzberger said. "We faced similar pressures in 1978 when both our reporter Myron Farber and The Times Company were held in contempt for refusing to provide the names of confidential sources."

That was before Miller was released. After she negotiated her agreement to turn over her notes to the Special Prosecutor, Sulzberger said, "Judy has been unwavering in her commitment to protect the confidentiality of her source. We are very pleased that she has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver, both by phone and in writing, releasing her from any claim of confidentiality and enabling her to testify."

In 1978, the publisher of the Times was Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger, father of current publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and the idea of turning over notes to a prosecutor and later celebrating it was an unthinkable event.

In their book "The Trust," Alex Jones and Susan E. Tifft wrote that the Farber case had an enduring impact on Russell T. "Russ" Lewis, a legal attorney for the paper who was later to become its president.

"That completed stage one of my understanding of what this newspaper was all about," Jones and Tifft quoted Lewis as saying.

But as Farber noted, times, and perhaps The Times, have changed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Allan Wolper ([email protected]) is E&P's ethics columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

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0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2005 06:06 am
The Columbia Journalism Review finally posts a piece on Miller...

Quote:
0 Replies
 
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2005 04:14 pm
WHITE HOUSE
Secret Service Records Prompted Key Miller Testimony http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1020nj1.htm
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2005 04:25 pm
BRAVO! Douglas McCallum

Thanks for posting it, Blatham.

BBB
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2005 08:58 am
New York Times's war on reporter Judy Miller.
Judith Miller is toast at the New York Times. Will any respectable newspaper hire her? Maybe one of the tabloids? Or maybe Bush? ---BBB
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 09:47 am
Miller Raises Stakes: Attacks Calame, Abramson & Keller
Miller Raises Stakes: Attacks Calame Critique, Disputes Abramson, Calls Keller Memo 'Ugly'
By Greg Mitchell
Published: October 24, 2005 7:30 AM ET
NEW YORK

Byron "Barney" Calame, public editor for The New York Times, posted at his Web journal late Sunday a reply from reporter Judith Miller, strenuously taking issue with his critique of her actions in the CIA leak issue published in the newspaper earlier that day.

In it, among other things, she raises the volume in her dispute with Executive Editor Bill Keller, as she now terms Keller's memo to staff on Friday "ugly." Also, for the first time, she names Jill Abramson as the editor she talked to about supposedly writing an article about the Plame outing -- then attacked her version of events.

In his intro to her e-mail, Calame observers that Miller
"refers to 'answers' she had sent me to questions I posed to her during an interview Thursday. My column reflected the relevant responses she gave me during our interview, and her e-mail message arrived too late for inclusion in the column."

Here is Miller's e-mail to Calame:

*

Barney,

I'm dismayed by your essay today. You accuse me of taking journalistic "shortcuts" without presenting evidence of what you mean and rely on unsubstantiated innuendo about my reporting.

While you posted Bill Keller's sanitized, post-lawyered version of the ugly, inaccurate memo to the staff he circulated Friday, which accused me of "misleading" an editor and being "entangled" with I. Lewis Libby, you declined to post the answers I sent you to six questions that we touched on during our interview Thursday. Had you done so, readers could have made their own assessment of my conduct in what you headlined as "the Miller mess."

You chose to believe Jill Abramson when she asserted that I had never asked her to pursue the tip I had gotten about Joe Wilson's trip to Niger and his wife's employment at the C.I.A. Now I ask you: Why would I - the supposedly pushiest, most competitive reporter on the planet -- not have pushed to pursue a tantalizing tip like this? Soon after my breakfast meeting with Libby in July, I did so. I remember asking the editor to let me explore whether what my source had said was true, or whether it was a potential smear of a whistleblower. I don't recall naming the source of the tip. But I specifically remember saying that because Joe Wilson's op-ed column had appeared in our paper, we had a particular obligation to pursue this. I never identified the editor to the grand jury or publicly, since it involved internal New York Times decision-making. But since you did, yes, the editor was Jill Abramson.

Obviously, Jill and I have different memories of what happened during that turbulent period at the paper. I did not take that personally, though she never chose to discuss with me our different recollections about my urging her to pursue the story. Without explanation, however, you said you believed her and raised questions about my "trust and credibility." That is your right. But I gave my recollection to the grand jury under oath.

My second journalistic sin in your eyes was agreeing to Libby's request to be considered a "former Hill staffer" in his discussion about Wilson. As you acknowledged, I agreed to that attribution only to hear the information. As I also stressed, Scooter Libby has never been identified in any of my stories as anything other than a "senior Administration official."

The third "troubling" ethical issue you raised - my access to secret information during my embed in Iraq - had been fully clarified by the time you published. No one doubts that I had access to very sensitive information or that I did work out informal arrangements to limit discussion of sensitive intelligence sources and methods to the most senior Times editors. Though there was occasionally enormous tension over whether and when I could publish sensitive information, the arrangement ultimately satisfied the senior officers in the brigade hunting for unconventional weapons, the Times editors at the time, and me. It also led to the publication of my exclusive story that debunked some of my own earlier exclusives on the Pentagon's claim that it had found mobile germ production units in Iraq.

I fail to see why I am responsible for my editors' alleged failure to do some "digging" into my confidential sources and the notebooks. From the start, the legal team that the Times provided me knew who my source was and had access to my notes. I never refused to answer questions or provide any information they requested. No one indicated they had doubts about the stand I took to go to jail.

Your essay clearly implies that the Times and I did something wrong in waging a battle that we did not choose. I strongly disagree. What did I do wrong? Your essay does not say. You may disapprove of my earlier reporting on Weapons of Mass Destruction. But what did the delayed publication of the editor's note on that reporting have to do with the decision I made over a year later, which the paper fully supported, to protect our confidential sources? I remain proud of my decision to go to jail rather than reveal the identity of a source to whom I had pledged confidentiality, even if he happened to work for the Bush White House.

The Times asked me to assume a low profile in this controversy. I told everyone that I had no intention of airing internal editorial policy disputes and disagreements at the paper, as a matter of principle and loyalty to those who stood by me during this ordeal. Others have chosen a different path, ironically becoming "confidential sources" themselves.

You never bothered to mention in your essay my decision to spend 85 days in jail to honor the pledge I made. I'm saddened that you, like so many others, have blurred the core issue of that stand and I am stunned that you refused to post my answers to issues we had discussed on your web site at the critical moment that Times readers were forming their opinions.

Judith Miller
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Mitchell ([email protected]) is editor of E&P.

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0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 09:55 am
Media Heavies, 'Times' Staffers, Join 'War' Over Miller
Media Heavies, 'Times' Staffers, Join 'War' Over Miller
By E&P Staff
Published: October 23, 2005 6:45 PM ET
NEW YORK

The internecine war over the Judith Miller saga continued this weekend with harsh views of the reporter coming from columnist Maureen Dowd and Public Editor Byron Calame, with Miller and her attorney Robert Bennett hitting back. Dowd even likened Miller to WMD, calling her a "Woman of Mass Destruction," and more gently "the Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp."

Newsweek, meanwhile, carried a report on Sunday asserting that "many Times staffers are out for blood. At a contentious meeting in the paper's Washington bureau last week, some reporters and editors demanded Miller's dismissal. In private, some staffers argued the paper had to do more -- sacking Keller or even somehow punishing Sulzberger, whose family controls the Times. 'Judy took advantage of her relationship with the publisher,' said one Times staffer who asked not to be identified because he feared losing his job. 'The publisher should pay the price.'"

A Times spokesman declined to comment.

All of this, and more, caused David Gergen, the former presidential adviser and editor-at-large for U.S. New & World Report, to say that the whole episode was turning "curiouser and curiouser" and that the Times was now engaging in damage control.

Another guest on Howard Kurtz's "Reliable Sources" show on CNN, Ron Brownstein, chief political writer at the Los Angeles Times, said that in the wake of last Sunday's in-depth Times article about the Miller case, it was "almost inevitable there would be further conflict at the paper. Because there were lots of questions that she simply would not answer. All of this tension inside The New York Times -- the really extraordinary thing here is to watch this all play out in public."

On Saturday, Dowd had said, referring to Miller, that investigative reporting is "not stenography," and: "Sorely in need of a tight editorial leash, she was kept on no leash at all, and that has hurt this paper and its trust with readers."

On CNN, Brownstein opined that Dowd's message to Miller was, more or less, "Don't let the door hit you on your way out."

Kurtz said that he agreed with Brownstein that he'd "never seen anything quite like this before."

Geneva Overholser, the former editor and Washignton Post ombudsman, added, "Some people believe that her relationship with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., who was a young reporter in Washington with Judy, has been key here. And to me, one of the most important statements we've seen, although it's not nearly as extreme in its wording, is Arthur's statement to Byron Calame in this morning's public editor's column, where he says that Judy and he have agreed that there will be limits to her future, or wording to that effect. I think that's quite extraordinary, because Arthur's role here is so key, obviously."

Gergen said the Times was now engaged in damage control, to a "large extent," pointing fingers at the reporter after backing her so strenuously for months. He said he thinks the paper has awakened to the fact that it "is now tied to Judy Miller, and that its own credibility has been damaged yet again. And for such an important institution in our society, this is a big deal. I think the Times is not only separating itself out from Judy Miller, but they're scrambling to restore their own credibility. I do think that their editorial page now has to address this in a very fair way, and they've got to totally pursue this as if she does not work for them and no longer protect her, but really try to get to the bottom of it, and get the facts out for their own credibility."

He also said that in his view that Miller was "used" by administration officials and Iraqi exiles.

"I think this story is not going to go away," Gergen concluded, "and is not going to be helpful to journalism as a profession at a time, you know, when it's under fire already."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E&P Staff ([email protected])

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0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 11:39 am
Public Editor Tries to Find Out: Did Miller Have a Security
Public Editor Tries to Find Out: Did Miller Have a Security Clearance?
By Jay Rosen
10.23.2005

The Times public editor, Barney Calame, tried to get an answer to the same question I asked: what about these special security "clearances" Judith Miller has said she had?

Did she really have them? He reports that he couldn't nail it down. "Couldn't" by the deadline for his column, that is. I'm sure he will keep asking.

This tells me there's an internal story there. My guess is the Times had as much trouble as I did trying to figure out from Miller's fantasia what her clearances actually were. It also tells me the Times knows it has to answer the outstanding questions about her access, most likely in a news story about Miller, or possibly through the public editor. Here's what Calame wrote:

ANOTHER troubling ethical issue that I haven't yet been able to nail down is whether Ms. Miller holds a government security clearance - something that could restrict her ability to share with editors the information she gathers.

He mentions the same contradictions I did. "The Times needs to review Ms. Miller's journalistic practices as soon as possible," he declared, "especially because she disputes some accounts of her conduct that have come to light since the leak investigation began." The public editor calling for a review of Miller's practices is significant, as well.

I think what the Times needs to do first is sever its connection with this person, and let Robert Bennett, her able attorney, dispute the accounts of her conduct that will in any honest accounting come to light. What Judy Miller says has evidentiary value, but we would be foolish, and the Times would be foolish, to trust even a word. If your aim is to find out what happened, treat her as a hostile witness.

But it doesn't matter what I say, or you say. When enough people who work for Bill Keller let him know they won't work with Judith Miller the issue will be settled.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jay Rosen teaches journalism at New York University. His weblog is PressThink.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2005 09:24 am
'WSJ' Seeks 8 Pages of Redacted Info in Judith Miller Case
'WSJ' Seeks 8 Pages of Redacted Info in Judith Miller Case
AP
By E&P Staff
Published: November 04, 2005 10:25 AM ET
NEW YORK

The Wall Street Journal 's parent company is seeking to expose sensitive material relating to Judith Miller of The New York Times in court.

The Journal's editorial page revealed today that Dow Jones & Co., this newspaper's parent company, filed a motion late Wednesday requesting that the federal district court unseal the infamous eight pages of redacted information that the special prosecutor showed to judges to convince them that Miller must testify in the Plame case, or else.

The Dow Jones motion notes that the D.C. Circuit of Appeals had ruled in an earlier case that "contemporaneous access" to information is vital "to the public's role as overseer of the criminal justice process."

The Times has sought the same eight pages, to no avail.

In the editorial, the Journal observed: "Thanks to the disastrous New York Times legal strategy, the D.C. Circuit of Appeals dealt a major blow to a reporter's ability to protect his sources. Prosecutors everywhere will now be more inclined to call reporters to testify, under threat of prison time."

In response to "this parade of masochism, we thought we'd try to speed things along, as well as end one of the remaining mysteries in the probe. ... Future prosecutors and judges trying to decide whether to throw a reporter in jail should be able to inspect the evidence in this case, which will be an influential precedent."

Unsealing the eight pages, the Journal declared, "would also help put to rest the wilder 'conspiracy' claims that continue to circulate about the case. Residents of the Internet fever swamps can now point to the sealed pages and say, aha!, dark secrets are being covered up. "

The Times had argued to the U.S. Supreme Court this year that the eight-page redaction raised serous due process concerns.

Attorneys familiar with the case said the Times welcomed the effort by Dow Jones and had been alerted to it prior to the filing.

In one of several recent references to the redacted information, Carol Marin, the Chicago Sun-Times columnist, on Oct. 26 referred to the missing pages (although she finds six, not eight) this way:

"Let's remember that you and I still don't know exactly why Miller was ordered by the court to go to jail. That's because the written opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia No. 04-3138 contains six-blank pages, 72-78. The information on those pages has been redacted at the request of U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald, citing national security concerns. That level of secrecy in a court ruling has stunned constitutional lawyers."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E&P Staff ([email protected])

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0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2005 12:04 pm
'Vanity Fair' Offers Fresh Details on Judith Miller Saga
'Vanity Fair' Offers Fresh Details on Judith Miller Saga
The New York Times Co.
Judith Miller left the Times last month after 28 years at the paper.
By E&P Staff
Published: December 06, 2005 5:00 PM ET
NEW YORK

In a lengthy feature piece on this autumn's Judith Miller saga forthcoming in the January issue of Vanity Fair (on sale Dec. 13), writer Seth Mnookin covers much familiar ground but also reveals new details and complaints from the reporter's colleagues at The New York Times. Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. also gets a good working-over from unnamed in-house critics.

One of the fresh scoops in the piece, which is titled, "Unreliable Sources," concerns Sulzberger barring Times reporters from talking to Russell Lewis, the former president and CEO of The New York Times Co., when they were working on their extensive report on Miller going to jail and then testifying before the Plame grand jury.

Mnookin relates that according to sources, when the reporters pressed Sulzberger on why he did that, he replied with a laugh and a quip: "Because I don't know what the f---he's going to tell you." (Earlier this year Lewis co-authored with Sulzberger a Times Op-Ed piece championing Miller's cause.)

Mnookin describes step-by-step how the reporters, including Don Van Natta, Clifford Levy, Adam Liptak and Janny Scott, were picked to write that October piece and how Miller often failed to cooperate fully with them. Miller allegedly refused to talk to Scott because she had not bothered to write to her in jail. She complained about Adam Liptak's coverage of her release from jail.

Van Natta talks about Miller putting him off even as she had time to talk with Lou Dobbs and Barbara Walters. "That was pretty amazing to me," he tells Mnookin, author of "Hard News," the recent book about the Jayson Blair/Howell Raines blowout. "I'm a colleague of hers, I'm trying to get an interview, and she doesn't have time for that, but she has time for Barbara Walters."

Van Natta came to believe that what Miller was saying at the time was so "preposterous" she must be "saving it all for a book."

The Vanity Fair article reveals that the Times team actually finished a draft of that piece exactly a week before it appeared. Liptak recalls printing it out at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning and reading it in the cab home, before deciding, "This thing sucks and I don't want my name on it. ... There was no logical reason why she couldn't tell us her testimony." So it went through another week of drafting, with Miller finally convinced, partly on the advice of her Times friend David Barstow, to reveal her grand jury testimony.

Elsewhere, Mnookin pulls no punches in stating that over the years Miller "had built a reputation for sleeping with her sources," had dated one of Sulzberger's best friends, Steve Ratner, "and had even, for a time, shared a vacation home with Sulzberger," whatever that means.

He hits Sulzberger hard with quotes from various unnamed Times people, who say things like, "Post-Howell, Arthur and Judy were both looking at resurrecting their reputations. And Arthur was so oblivious he didn't care about the repercussions."

Mnookin says Miller and Sulzberger refused to speak with him for this piece. He also does not quote Executive Editor Bill Keller directly.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2005 12:27 pm
thanks B
0 Replies
 
 

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