Saturday, July 09, 2005


The Miller-Fitzgerald Contretemps

Josh Marshall over at TPM Café brought up an interesting little fact last Thursday:

Don't forget: This isn't the first time Plame prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has tangled with Judy Miller while investigating a leak out of the Bush White House. A little more than a year ago, I reported on TPM how Fitzgerald had quite aggressively investigated another Bush White House leak in late 2001 and early 2002. Fitzgerald had been investigating three Islamic charities accused of supporting terrorism -- the Holy Land Foundation, the Global Relief Foundation, and the Benevolence International Foundation. But just before his investigators could swoop in with warrants, two of the charities in question got wind of what was coming and, apparently, were able to destroy a good deal of evidence. What tipped them off were calls from two reporters at the New York Times who'd been leaked information about the investigation by folks at the White House. One of those two reporters was Judy Miller.
Lots of questions come to mind. The first one, and the one that Miller's defenders will latch on to like hawks, is "Did this cause Fitzgerald to go after Judy Miller more passionately than he might have done otherwise?" But the questions I'm most interested in have to do with a) why somebody at the White House wanted to protect these particular charities, b) what Judith Miller's role was in all of this, and c) whether her good friend Ahmad Chalabi was involved.

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