Sunday, October 02, 2005

TWO MILLER POINTS CONTRAPOSITIVE skips town for a few days and all hell breaks loose.

First, some thoughts about the unfolding Judith Miller strand of the Valerie Plame story. As has been widely observed, Miller's recent decision to testify before the grand jury raises more questions than it answers.

Two quick points.

1. Miller and her lawyers have argued that the original waiver she received from Lewis Libby couldn't safely be construed as uncoerced. But the evidence has undermined that claim. And so, in the face of mounting media pressure, their tune is changing. Reuters tells us:

[Miller attorney Floyd] Abrams said he spoke to Libby's attorney, Joseph Tate, before Miller went to jail. "It is true that he said to me it's OK with him [Libby] if she testifies," Abrams said."
Abrams goes on to mount an obfuscating argument about the mandatory--and thus ostensibly coerced--waiver Libby signed for the White House. But that's besides the point. Both sides now admit consent had been given for Miller to testify. She wasn't willing to take yes for an answer. But Libby clearly seems to have given her the okay.

2. So why didn't she just talk to the grand jury? The truth is beginning to emerge. Also via Reuters:

Tate said he believed Miller's goal in refusing to accept that waiver was to protect other sources.

Abrams said: "She has other sources and was very concerned about the possibility of having to reveal those sources or going back to jail because of them."

That appears to conflict with comments by attorney Robert Bennett, who also represents Miller in the case. Bennett said on Friday that "Judy is not protecting anybody else."
Who are Miller's other sources? What did Fitzgerald want to know about them? And why is he now content to close his investigation without getting Miller to go on the record about them?

And why can't Miller's famous, high-priced lawyers get their stories straight?

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.