Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It just don't add up

TalkLeft does as good a job as anyone among the many trying their hands at Judith Miller Kremlinology.
They asked not just for her conversations with Libby about Valerie Plame, but about Iraq trying to acquire uranium. By agreeing to limit the questioning to Libby and Plame, and not asking about other sources, she didn't have to tell who else, if anyone, she heard about Plame from. More importantly, she didn't have to answer questions about what she knew about the infamous false 16 words in the State of the Union address referring to Iraq trying to get uranium - and where she got the information.
But here's the thing I don't quite follow: Judy says she was in stir protecting her source, now identified as Scooter Libby. Scooter releases her, she talks. Fine.

So why was it so critical to her to negotiate away Fitzgerald's ability to ask her about other stories? Who is she protecting, and what does it have to do with the stated reason for her apparently self-imposed frog march? The rather obvious point here, which the Queen of Iraq wants us to miss, is that shield laws are intended to protect the ability of reporters to find and disseminate truths the public might not otherwise learn. By negotiating away our right to know about these other stories, whatever Ms. Fucking Miller was doing, it sure wasn't being a reporter.

Saving our republic will of course require incontrovertibly exposing the criminality of the current administration. But I am beginning to think that the job will not really be done until we also make plain the failings of the press, the most egregious of which seem to have all oozed forth from the Times. Maybe once enough editorial putrescence has been exposed, and the Newspaper of Record becomes the paper of criminal record, we can finally begin to rebuild.


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