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La_La Hits one out of the park re: Judith Miller - GREAT READ!

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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:58 PM
Original message
La_La Hits one out of the park re: Judith Miller - GREAT READ!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/larisa-al...

<snip>
"While everyone is busy squealing themselves hoarse for Congress to pass a law protecting journalists and their sources, no one is demanding that Congress pass a law protecting citizens from propaganda masquerading as fact and news."

<snip>
"Miller is not remotely honorable or honest precisely because she was part and parcel of the fixing of intelligence so that a post 9/11 nation could be hijacked into a massacre on both sides of the ocean.

She may have not written the Plame story, but she wrote the Iraq lies, and in doing so she made herself visible as a tool of a corrupt administration, which she now protects by invoking the rights she abused so shamelessly. The rights that honorable journalists, like Gary Webb, respected."

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oldtime dfl_er Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Brilliant!!!
deserves more widespread coverage!!!

http://www.cafepress.com/scarebaby/690908
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I never realized fraud had so many protections.
I've often heard that there is no statute of limitations on fraud. But I guess if you can call it freedom of speech, then well, fraud becomes excluded evidence?
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Very well written - a good read.
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. "The Patron Saint of Propagpanda"
Great!

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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good putting it into perspective. Despicable abusers of democracy!
They all deserve to be tried for treason.
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. Bravo La_La, she says it all there.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. A reasonable shield law would not shield Cooper or Miller.

The act of revealing info to them was itself a crime. And the intent was to shut up a whistle-blower. Rove's machinations cannot be unmasked without cooperation from those who witnessed different aspects of them.
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emcguffie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. beautiful. but but but
many, many people do not KNOW that about "Judy" Miller. Some people are very progressive and did not read the NY Times every day, or did not notice that it was one reporter starting the war, or perhaps at that time they were not so absolutely sure that there were not any WMDs.

I knew she was lying, and I knew there were no WMDs -- although who could be absolutely certain? -- but a surprising number of people had no idea and bought it hook, line and sinker.

Which means that I am certainly glad to see it being said. It just needs to be said and said and said, louder and louder and louder.

I'm sorry I don't have a tremendous sense of humor like everyone else here.....
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. limiting the free press ...
we've all heard the expression regarding free speech that you can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theatre ... most of us understand that freedoms such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press should NOT be absolute ...

but under what circumstances should these freedoms be limited?

while i appreciate the author's point that Baghdad Judy has been little more than a White House whore on Iraq policy, i think her conduct on non-Plame matters should NOT be used as the basis for evaluating her conduct as to what is right and what is wrong in the Plame case ...

LALA was correct to point out that the essential issue in a freedom of the press case should be that "protecting sources is not the same thing as protecting criminals working against the public interest."

it is critical in a democracy to protect a vigilant, free press ... we should NOT lose sight of this critical element of our system of checks and balances ... limiting a free press must be done very carefully based on very specific guidelines ... we should not codify systems based on our current understanding that today's "free press" is an overly centralized, corporatocracy ... the MSM have failed America and Americans but our laws need to protect our democratic ideals and not be overly reactive to the current abuses of them ...

having said that, sending Miller to jail was a step in the right direction ... the press should maintain an arm's length, adversarial relationship to our government ... it should never be the mouthpiece for any administration whether we agree with current policy or not ...

Miller's arrogance, and the arrogance of the NY Times for standing on the wrong side of this issue, highlights what's wrong with the MSM today ... is it OK for a journalist to remain silent when the public remains at risk? if a credible terrorist said they were going to hijack a plane, should a journalist remain silent even if they promised confidentiality? we have a situation in the Plame affair where the press itself was utilized for the treasonous action of disclosing the identity of a CIA operative ... this is a crime potentially punishable by death ... does the press really want to make a case that it should not have an obligation to assist prosecutors in bringing to justice those who committed this treason against our country?

do we remain at risk that those who perpetrated this crime will repeat their actions further weakening our government? or has the press in its wisdom decided that the crime committed was not of any real significance? who the hell are they to decide?

press freedoms are critically important in a democracy when they seek to serve the public interest ... when they are used to allow government saboteurs to go free and hide behind them, press freedoms should be limited ... Miller's crimes are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of our system of government ... the damage her silence continues to do to our intelligence agencies should land her in Guantanamo; not in some country club setting for "bad girls" who have lost their way ... and her prison time should not be limited by the duration of Fitzgerald's investigation; she is protecting those who committed treason and should be kept in prison until she cooperates ...
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. thanks for your thoughts on this -
I do believe that how she acted on non-Plame matters should be taken into account on this. How she behaves as a journalist, as a whole, is important for understanding how little sympathy she should be accorded for her I-stand-on-principle theatrics. She is not protecting a source, she is proving her loyalty. We all know how Bush loyalists become idolized and rewarded with power and prestige.

That said,
"press freedoms are critically important in a democracy when they seek to serve the public interest ... when they are used to allow government saboteurs to go free and hide behind them, press freedoms should be limited ... Miller's crimes are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of our system of government ... the damage her silence continues to do to our intelligence agencies should land her in Guantanamo; not in some country club setting for "bad girls" who have lost their way ... and her prison time should not be limited by the duration of Fitzgerald's investigation; she is protecting those who committed treason and should be kept in prison until she cooperates ..."

is absolutely stunning. I wholeheartedly agree, and I wish I could say it as well.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. the right criteria
you stated: "I do believe that how she acted on non-Plame matters should be taken into account on this. How she behaves as a journalist, as a whole, is important for understanding how little sympathy she should be accorded for her I-stand-on-principle theatrics. She is not protecting a source, she is proving her loyalty. We all know how Bush loyalists become idolized and rewarded with power and prestige."

for me, Miller's motivations, which as you articulately pointed out, are highly suspect in this case because of her past conduct, are essentially irrelevant ... the essential element in a case like this, at least in my untrained opinion, should be focussed on the actions of the protected party, not on the journalist ... even if Miller were the most wonderful, principled journalist in the world, there would still be no justification to protect those who have allegedly committed treason against our country ...

so, to the extent that you argue that Miller should receive no sympathy because she is NOT credible on this issue, I fully concur !! but we should not conflate our feelings about her with how our democracy chooses to constrain freedom of the press ... our laws should look at the press as an institution; not as an individual on a case by case basis ... press freedoms must be cautiously limited when they are clearly being used to cover-up crimes against our country's best interests ...
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. point taken
well argued.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. You make a good point.
If screaming "fire" in a crowded theater is not protected speech, why should screaming "WMDs" to start a war be protected?

No freedom is absolute. Freedom of speech is subject to reasonable restraints. Remember the free speech corrals at the Republican convention? In most places, if you want to hold a demonstration, you have to get a permit unless the demonstration is genuinely spontaneous. That is considered to be a reasonable limitation on free speech.

In considering a contempt order, the court has to balance the right to free speech against the government's interests in obtaining the information it is seeking. Miller's case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and no court struck down the order requiring her to talk. That strongly suggests that the government's interests in requiring her to talk are exceedingly significant.

This is not about freedom of speech. This is about some very unusual government interest that is so important that it outweighs Miller's right to freedom of speech. Just what is that interest precisely? We really don't know yet, and maybe we never will. I have read that seven pages in the prosecutor's brief on the contempt order are blank because they are privileged. I also read that the judge said he had read a lot of documentation. That also is secret.

Miller's case is highly unusual but absolutely fascinating to anyone familiar with this law.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. You can still scream "fire!"
but you are responsible for the consequences of your actions and liable for whatever damages you caused.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. For the most part, I agree
with your post....

but I think you're overlooking something more basic.

press freedoms are critically important in a democracy when they seek to serve the public interest ... when they are used to allow government saboteurs to go free and hide behind them, press freedoms should be limited ...

I don't think that's accurate. I think what has been missed is that Judith never practiced basic journalistic skills or procedures. She took "single source" information and published it as gospel...

What I'm trying to get at is that the press enjoys extraordinary leeway in our society but they should not get that leeway without exercising some responsibility. In other words, they should not be allowed to protect a source unless that source has been collaborated by another independent source. If they (the press) wants absolute freedom then they must also be able to demonstrate that they have acted responsibly. If they cannot then the sources should be exposed and held accountable.

Remember we have freedom to SAY anything we want to say but we are also HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the consequences of what we say. the same should apply to anonymous sources.
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skip fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. Side point. What if Miller and Cooper's source not the same? Implications.
Before you boil over (since it seems at least slightly less likely to paint Rove into a corner), consider this.

Six reporters were contacted. Including Novak, Cooper, & Miller, that's three more. At least a few say there were at least two sources. At least five calls.

Wouldn't it be likely for someone out to discredit Wilson to get a number of different people to call, each their own contact(s), who will then flood others of the group for conformation(s)?

Who would have done that . . . but the man who was the President's Chief Political Analyst and advisor and who has been well known to engage in precisely such tactics? Karl Rove. He may have only contacted one or two himself, but orchestrated the entire phonebank in order to make Wilson's motives suspect. (And where have I ever heard of this going-for-the-throat method so much before as in the last six years?)

So . . . we may have several in the pot (Cheney, Libby, W., Rove) AND Rove as the chief conspirator!!!!
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
13. The press lapdogs spouting Cheney/Rove's new line of defense--
"freedom of the press"--talk about journalists being able to protect their "sources."

What about Valerie Plame's sources? What has become of her 20+ year network of WMD covert contacts in governments, companies and illicit networks, developed in order to provide our government with good, accurate information on weapons proliferation?

It's my understanding that many of them are very likely dead, as a result of this outing. And no one can inquire about them, because the inquiry would just put them at further risk, if they are still alive.

This outing also put Plame's life and her family's lives at risk.

And we are suppose to allow "freedom of the press" to protect the perpetrators of this crime? We are suppose to allow "freedom of the press" to protect Dick Cheney or Karl Rove as "sources"?

I think we've found ourselves in Alice's "Wonderland." Everything upside down, backwards, and inside out, amidst a whole lot of jabberwocky.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
15. I have some questions for Ms. Alexandrovna
Isn't the term propaganda a little strong? I think of dissemination of propaganda as a deliberate act. I'm under the assumption that Ms. Miller was duped, although I am shocked that a journalist with multiple Pulitzer Prizes would be so remiss in verifying the information she received from her contact in the INC; it is even more shocking in that she was duped in a similar way by John Poindexter over her stories that she wrote about Libya in 1986.

The tone of the piece makes it sound as though Ms. Miller knew what the real facts were and willfully wrote something else. I'm not certain that's the case at all.

Assuming she was duped, what are the journalistic ethics here? She was lied to and being manipulated. Does she have an obligation to protect such a source? Or are the bets off?

I've been of two minds on this matter and I would appreciate any help you could provide in clearing up my thoughts.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. She never questioned
the sources....she never "double sourced" any of the information...she took the words a gospel and printed them under the guise of "journalism" when in fact she was a "stenographer".
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. I agree that is what she did
I also agree that she should have done more than that.

It seems to me that there is a saying among journalists: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. Ms. Miller seems to forget this way too often.

I'm sure if she had done that, she would not have written what she did about Saddam's ability to obtain nukes.

Nevertheless, what are the journalistic ethics here? A reporter should protect sources, but does the source have an obligation to give the reporter information in good faith? There is no way that Ms. Miller's sources acted in good faith, regardless of what she did with the information. Does that release her from any pledge of confidentiality? If not, what does?


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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. So why weren't WE duped? Why wasn't the CIA duped? Why wasn't Miller
fired for being such a shitty, gullible journalist to lead a nation into war based on lies?

Ever heard of VERIFICATION?
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. My answers to your question Mr. Rabbit
Why the formality here? Okay, here I go to answer or attempt to, but I am a bit crazed at the moment, so hang in there with me:

1). No, the term propaganda is exactly right. If she were duped, she continued to be duped long after WMDs were not found and even went as far as to report that the weapons were "sold" before we got there. If an error was made, a serious error in this case, then she should have apologized and resigned. Unlike Dan Rather, her error helped cost many lives and her journalistic standards are clearly not up to par.

2). Gary Webb was a journalist with many awards to his credit. Gary Webb died in poverty, having been run out by other journalists for reporting factually. Ms. Miller's awards are of no interest to me. Much like the Presidential medal is no longer of any real value.

3). Again, if she were duped, how many times then does one need to be duped before they correct the error? Is once enough? If someone can be duped that many times when every expert in both intel and military as well as experts abroad in similar positions have stated otherwise, what makes Chalabi the credible source on her WMD reporting? Really, there are journalists who have no money for resources to do hard core investigative work, yet they too were skeptical. How then does one account for Ms. Miller's "errors" given the resources behind her?

I do believe the best explanation of Ms. Millers journalistic ethics was that the NYT "kept her on because of her sources" not her integrity or skill. Whatever that means, it is sad when sources become more important than integrity and even worse when those sources are acting AGAINST the interest of the people a journalist is there to represent and protect.

Okay, sorry for the long rant. I may have not answered your questions because I have had a crazy day, including a tiny visit to the ER (all is well). If not, let me know, I will try again when I am more rational. And please, no need for formality Mr. Rabbit. I live here pretty much and vent here all the time.

Anyway, hope I made some sense :D
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Thank you, Lala
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 06:49 PM by Jack Rabbit
My mother, a traditional Midwestern lady, raised me to be formal when in doubt.

I'll bet you've had a crazy day even without a trip to the ER. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer.

Ms. Miller has no one but herself to blame for her problems right now. I agree that keeping her at The New York Times for her sources looks ludicrous, since her sources are a bunch of liars who have succeeded at, among other things, making her look foolish. If she had followed proper journalistic procedures and checked out what Chalabi and his friends told her, she probably would have written some very different stories.

As I read your answer, you are saying the ethical thing she should do is apologize and resign, since by failing to follow proper procedures she allowed her sources to make her look bad. She still doesn't reveal her sources even though they put egg on her face.

Ok, that makes sense.

However, Judith Miller is at this moment a guest of federal taxpayers not for anything she wrote that Chalabi told her, but for something that somebody else told her that she didn't print. Presumably, this source was Karl Rove, but we don't really know that. Rove (or whoever) was attempting to manipulate her into outing a covert CIA operative as part of a vendetta against the operative's husband and a warning to any other potential whistle blower in the intelligence community -- and there are probably a lot of them -- who had any ideas about telling a journalist about how his work was twisted and dissembled by policymakers bent on war against Iraq come hell or high water, the real facts be damned.

If these are the facts, then the source, whether it is Rove or somebody else, is simply being manipulative and attempting to use the press for his own purposes. That should have been clear to all the journalists this source approached, including Mr. Novak. That being the case, does the journalist still have an obligation to protect the source? If not, why not?

Let us now hypothetically suppose that the prosecutor wants Ms. Miller to reveal her source for the hokey stories she wrote prior to the invasion. It should be clear that her source lied to her in order to disseminate propaganda. Does the fact that her source clearly acted in bad faith release her from any pledge of confidentiality? Why or why not?
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. Finally she's doing time
It may not be for her real crimes but at least she's doing time.

I don't agree that reporters should be jailed for not disclosing sources though. We need a free, independent press. I just wish we had one.
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
21. Exactly. I feel sorry for her predicament, but not for her.
eom
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Samantha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
25. I just posted similar thoughts on another thread in LBN
but I took it a couple of steps further.

Perhaps Miller cannot afford for her notes to be revealed for two reasons: (1) If it became public knowledge she fixed stories on fixed intelligence, the New York Times would have to dismiss her. Better for Miller to serve a little jail time and save the job. Take the position she's standing on principle. The truth might be if the notes surface, she might be found guilty of more than fixing a story which fixes intelligence. (2) In light of Operation Mockingbird, perhaps the New York Times has its own secret identities to conceal. All major publications are supposed to have a covert CIA agent posing as a journalist. Obviously she does not research the truth of the stories she submits (she admitted this is not her job!)

In this case, perhaps protecting the identities of covert agents extends beyond the Plame issue and enters the realm of the news subsidiaries as well. In other words, while pretending to protect her source, Miller might be protecting her job and her own agenda.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. there is the answer
to Mr. Rabbit's questions... I cannot comment further, but I agree entirely with you assessment of "tool" vs. "journo".
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
28. congratulations to lala_rawraw! Great piece....
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 07:34 PM by sojourner
edit: typo
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
29. I'm glad you've said it so clearly at last. Judith Miller does NOT
deserve pats on the back. She knowingly and cynically played with Chalabi in deceiving the Us into war. Her pulbished lies were used by the Administration to support its arguments and sway members of Congress.

Now she is receiving sympathy- for shielding a traitor. Given her history, she should have special inside understanding of traitors.
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