Judith Miller Goes Free
Which might not be as bad as it sounds. Via Eschaton:
WASHINGTON - Judith Miller, The New York Times reporter who has been jailed since July 6 for refusing to identify a source, has been released, The Inquirer has learned.Sound like Miller has finally agreed to testify. You have to wonder why a release from Libby now is enough to persuade her to give up the tragic heroine of democracy routine, when a previous blanket release from Libby was not. Could it have something to do with Miller freaking out in a cold cell? Did Fitzgeral convince her he was serious about putting her away for a whole lot longer? Or, in the wake of Katrina, Delay, Iraq, etc., is Miller too finally waking up to the smell of putrid Bush Co. offal?
Miller left an Alexandria, Va. jail late this afternoon, a jail official said.
She was released after she had a telephone conversation with the Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, sources said. In that conversation, Libby reaffirmed that he had released Miller from a promise of confidentiality more than a year ago, sources said.
UPDATE: The Philadelphia Inquirer quotes Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate, saying Miller wanted to hear the release from Libby himself. Has it taken her this long to get a call from him?
Libby reaffirmed that he had released Miller from a promise of confidentiality more than a year ago, Tate said.The real question here, as in the Katrina fiasco, is this: WHERE WAS THE LEADERSHIP????
"She wanted to hear it directly from Mr. Libby," Tate said. "And he assured her that it was voluntary."
Obviously, having a cheerleader for President can only get you so far....
UPDATE 2: Editor & Publisher has statements by Sulzberger (NYT publisher), Keller (NYT editor), and Miller herself on her release. Miller will testify to the grand jury tomroow, but her testimony will be "severely limited".
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...(italics mine) which suggests they were unable to obtain the waiver in writing previously.
Miller confirms that Libby's OK was the problem:
I am leaving jail today because my source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations relating to the Wilson-Plame matter. My attorneys have also reached agreement with the Office of Special Counsel regarding the nature and scope of my testimony, which satisfies my obligation as a reporter to keep faith with my sources.Bill Keller goes a little further:
At the outset, she had only a generic waiver of this obligation, and she believed she had ample reason to doubt it had been freely given. In recent days, several important things have changed that convinced Judy that she was released from her obligation.So what were these "important things"? Is this change of heart from Libby related to internecine GOP wars in the wake of Katrina and Delay, or has Rove worked out how to put the fix into the Fitzgerald inquiry?
The NYT reports that Libby gave another release ten days ago but Miller would not accept it because she suspected it had not been freely given - what's that all about?
And what about this:
Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, said that Fitzgerald had assured Miller's lawyer that "he intended to limit his grand jury interrogation so that it would not implicate other sources of hers."Truth be told, Miller is the lady whose terrifying front page NYT stories hyped the whole Iraq WMD story's credibility to the point where it was widely accepted (I mean, the NYT is a left-wing publication, isn't it?). This whole Plame-Wilson scandal is really just a subtext of that one massive lie. If Fitzgerald is releasing Miller from further testimony for the purpose of his own inquiry, that is one thing. But eventually, Miller must still be forced to testify about the WMD lies as well.
Indictments are expected as early as next week. Things just got a whole lot worse for Bush & Co...
UPDATE 3: As you might expect, Arianna is all over this story. Just wait till Josh Marshall wakes up...