New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been released from federal custody after agreeing to testify before the grand jury that is investigating, interminably, the Valerie Plame “leak.” Miller says that she agreed to testify after being released from her promise of confidentiality by her source, who apparently is “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff.
What does it all mean? Beats me. It’s hardly a secret that Miller met with Libby in July 2003; CBS reported long ago:
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has told federal investigators that he met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, and discussed CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to legal sources familiar with Libby’s account.
A long time ago, Libby gave a “general” waiver authorizing journalists to talk about their contacts with him. But Miller has taken the position that that isn’t good enough; she isn’t convinced that is was “freely given” and wanted a “personal” waiver pertaining to her, specifically. I assume that Libby has now given that “personal” waiver.
I have no idea why this principle was important to Miller, or why Libby apparently waited until now to give Miller a “personal” waiver on top of the general one he issued long ago.
The entire Plame story, in my opinion, is one of the most overblown of modern times. The real story here is about her husband Joe Wilson, who, at his wife’s instigation, was sent on a diplomatic mission to Niger for which he was ill-suited, and who then lied about his own findings there in a New York Times op-ed, for the purpose of damaging President Bush politically. Joe Wilson is one of the great scoundrels of recent times, but you wouldn’t know it unless you are a regular reader of this or a handful of other sites. If you search our site for “Joe Wilson” or “Joseph Wilson,” you will find a link to the Congressional report that concluded that Wilson is a liar.
The substantive aspects of this story, however, have been completely lost in the media love-fest with Valerie Plame.
Via Power Line News.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has more, including Libby’s observation that he gave his “voluntary waiver” to Miller more than a year ago, and John Podhoretz’s comments about the weirdness of it all. To which I can only add: indeed.