Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Is the real story being covered?

It is interesting to consider other possibilities than the one so often stated by the proud media about their fellow reporter Judy Miller staying in jail "as a matter of principal." She chooses to remain there, it is said regularly and often by media people, because she is championing a journalist’s right to keep sources confidential. She, therefore, will not reveal who told her that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA operative.

Perhaps that scenario is true. Maybe the reporter is a person of principal who is willing to endure all this to protect her profession’s rights of confidentiality. I even hope so.

But what if she is not so much protecting her professional right to keep sources confidential as she is protecting her source? I know; the distinction is slight. But there is a distinction. In one case she is choosing to remain in jail rather than compromise a journalistic principal.

In the other case, she is in jail rather than choosing to answer a Grand Jury and get someone in real trouble for committing a possible crime in outing a CIA operative. If that were the situation, one might argue that Miller is, in effect, an accessory to whatever crime may have been committed.

Whatever the case, there is a confidential source somewhere willing to let Judy Miller sit in jail for weeks, allowing her to say she is protecting a journalistic principal. Whoever that source is, there must be much to hide. I mean, we already know that Rove and Libby were involved in talking to reporters about the case.

So if her source is Rove, then he must have told her more than he told others, and perhaps the how, and why of his disclosure. Or is it Libby, who, perhaps, helped Miller more than the others he talked to with the scenario to seek revenge against Plame and her former ambassador husband? Did they tell Miller other things that would certainly brand their conversations as "criminal" if she were to reveal all?

Or is there another source we do not know about, someone who is willing to let Miller take the fall until the Grand Jury adjourns in October rather than release her from her confidentiality promise now? Is there someone who counts the days of Miller’s incarceration, hoping that their agreement, whatever it was, will not fail? Someone who prays that Miller will continue to protect him or her from the trouble he or she would be in if his or her name and the information he or she shared with Miller were made public? Whatever the truth is, that unnamed source must be feeling the pressure and the guilt from remaining "confidential" and letting Judy Miller stay in jail.

Does any of this get at the curious reason John Bolton recently paid a visit to Miller in jail? What was his purpose? Was he a messenger, or a kindly visitor checking on the well being of a friend?

Doesn’t every day that Miller’s source does not come forward strengthen the suspicion that there must be a lot more at stake than the principal of journalist confidentiality?


Anonymous Bill S. said...

Dear Dana:
It is interesting to note that your questions seem to be loaded in a way as to cast uneasy suspicion on some easy target and lead the reader to murmur, "Yeah, I'll bet that the #@&^%$^% is really (doing whatever it is that Dana's vivid imagination suggests might be an illegal, immoral, or fattening act.) Thus, without making a direct accusation, Dana can accuse...without the awkward necessity of offering any proof. Those are cheap shots, Dana. You are capable of better stuff.

8/16/2005 4:29 PM  
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