Saturday, July 16, 2005


Judge Judy? Early And Often, I Say

Continuing to address the pro-Miller (and thus pro-Rove) slant of the WP and NYT coverage of TreasonGate, Atrios reminds us that Judy Miller is not just a "reporter", but a player and a Bush Administration/PNAC zampolit, in the events surrounding our invasion of Iraq. Later, Atrios alerts us to yet another Poor Widdle Judy story, this time from the Washington Post. Get a load of how the lead sentence from that WP story is phrased:

Lawyers in the CIA leaks investigation are concerned that special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald may seek criminal contempt charges against New York Times reporter Judith Miller, a rare move that could significantly lengthen her time in jail."
Hey, dickweeds! (In this case, none other than Howard "Mistah" Kurtz and Carol D. Leonnig.) Why don't you just say that MILLER's attorney (and perhaps Karl Rove's attorney) are upset about this? The Pyramid Lead rule, the foundation of modern journalism, states that as most folks don't read newspaper articles all the way through, the key facts must be put in the opening (or 'lead') sentence. Yet this lead sentence implies that many, many attorneys, and not just Miller's and Rove's, are wringing their hands over Miller's fate. Besides, as you admit halfway into the article, Matt Cooper's attorney doesn't think Fitz is being overly harsh at all:
Matthew Cooper, a Time magazine reporter also subpoenaed in the case, avoided Miller's fate July 6 by agreeing to testify about his conversations with Rove. But three days earlier, Cooper's attorney, Richard Sauber, said in an interview yesterday, Fitzgerald told him during negotiations over Cooper's testimony that his client could well face criminal contempt charges. Fitzgerald was playing "hardball" and "was trying to get Matt and Judy to comply with the judge's order," Sauber said, adding that he did not consider the threat "over the top." "Fitzgerald indicated personally to me that was one of his options," Sauber said of their July 3 conversation. He quoted Fitzgerald as telling him: "I'm going to ask the judge to remind these people they risk criminal contempt and it is certainly an option for me." Sauber said he is "convinced" that Fitzgerald "still might" file criminal charges against Miller.
And further on, we find this:
...Criminal contempt findings are very rare, legal experts said, because prosecutors usually seek them only in extreme circumstances or when a person engages in a pattern of defying the law.
Or when the prosecutor knows that at least one person involved is lying out his or her ass. But I digress.
...Sauber said the tactic was not unexpected in light of a recent case involving Rhode Island television reporter Jim Taricani, who was convicted in December of criminal contempt for refusing to reveal the name of the person who gave him an FBI videotape in a corruption investigation.
Again, Cooper's lawyer is saying that this is not the horrible miscarriage of justice that Miller's (and again, probably Rove's) lawyer is claiming it to be. And here's the key thing: Fitzgerald's judicial bosses agree with him and are backing him to the hilt.
But in this closely held investigation, federal appeals court judges of very different ideological stripes and Hogan have reviewed secret evidence and have agreed that Miller's and Cooper's claims of a right to protect their sources is outweighed by the public interest in investigating a possible breach of national security.
"National security", boyos. Not a goddamned stained dress. The collective genitalia of the damned GOP/Media Axis just get stiff as hell at the mere suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of politically successful Democrats, or at the mindless invasion of a country with tons of oil and no nukes, or the "patriotic" destruction of our civil liberties in the false pretense of preserving our national security. But let somebody like Patrick Fitzgerald do something that really DOES aid our national security, and watch the corporate media lackeys howl. Which is why the following doesn't make me feel anything for Judy Miller, other than the urge to laugh in her Junta-protecting, Chalabi-loving, PNAC-pimping face:
Legal experts who have monitored the public twists of Fitzgerald's investigation say the prosecutor has been relentless in running down every fact, an approach that may increase the chances he would seek criminal contempt. "I think Judith Miller is in much graver danger than she might be otherwise, because this prosecutor seems to want to pursue every avenue with a vengeance," said Mary Cheh, a professor of criminal law at George Washington University. "I'd be very worried."
Awwwww. Pooooor baaaabeeeee Judy-Woody. English Translation: She lied like a rug to save herself and her White House/PNAC buddies, Fitz knows it, and is going to nail her for it. Awwww.

I think it's time for Jon Stewart (because nobody else would do it) to invite Susan McDougal on his show to comment on Judith Miller being imprisoned for not talking to prosecutors. I think it would be a highly entertaining compare-and-contrast.
YES! The same media doofi who are out to make a saint out of a Bush/Chalabi/PNAC zampolit who helped lie us into an obscene war, well... they had no sympathy for a woman who a quasi-legal Starr Chamber tried to get to back up her crazy ex-husband's lies.
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