Wednesday, May 22, 2013

As We Approach The Eighth Anniversary

Of Judith Miller being carted off the L'Hotel Graybar to protect her anonymous source in the Valerie Plame case, it is an interesting thought-experiment to imagine how different this would all have looked --
Novak: ‘I Don’t Think I Hurt Valerie Plame’ And I Would Out Her Again Because The Left ‘Tried To Ruin Me’

By Ben Armbruster on Dec 3, 2008 at 10:51 am

During a recent interview with the National Ledger, conservative columnist Robert Novak was asked if he would reveal Valerie Plame Wilson’s secret CIA identity if he could go back and do it all over again. Novak noted that he has previously said he “should have ignored” what he had been told about Plame, but he now claims he is “much less ambivalent“:
NOVAK: I’d go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me. My response now is this: The hell with you. They didn’t ruin me. I have my faith, my family, and a good life. A lot of people love me — or like me. So they failed. I would do the same thing over again because I don’t think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever. But of course, Plame was “hurt” because of Novak’s column — she no longer has a career as a covert CIA agent. Moreover, Plame has said that she feared for her and her family’s lives after Novak revealed her identity.
But Novak ignoes the point that Plame’s outing had broader national security implications. In fact, Plame’s CIA job was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and as one former senior intelligence officer put it, the leak made “it harder for other CIA officers to recruit sources.”
-- to someone who believed that
...Bob Novak was just an intrepid reporter trying to do the important work of a free press in a democracy.
...Judith Miller was a First Amendment Hero who was persecuted by a vile, overreaching federal gummint
... As Miller's role in the CIA leak probe was revealed, a certain schadenfreude took hold in Times newsrooms both in New York and in Washington, which have been seething over the Miller saga.

In a special prosecutor's quest to find the culprit who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Miller, 57, wound up spending 85 days in jail earlier this year rather than name the source who mentioned Plame's identity to her. She served time, she said, because she did not believe her source had sufficiently waived the confidentiality agreement between them.

It was all for the sake of the First Amendment rights of journalists, she says -- which prompted eyes to roll among some of her colleagues at the Times, who believe she really went to jail because she needed to resuscitate her professional image. Miller had been battered by earlier allegations of bias in support of the Bush administration's contention, since discredited, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. (She became so controversial, in fact, that in late 2003 the Times prohibited her from writing about WMD.)...
...Karl Rove was merely a brave whistle-blower trying to get the word out about the dangerous goings on inside a run-amok branch of the federal government.
Were the world a debate tournament, I could vehemently and craftily defend each and every one of these points against the pro-secrecy troglodytes who merely pretend to cherish the Constitution but clearly do not love liberty or the First Amendment as much as I do.

Then I could pack up my sample case, go on to the next round, and vehemently and craftily argue the exact opposite if that was the luck of the draw.

The world is not a debate tournament.

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