A new book argues Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, did not reveal the identity of former CIA undercover officer Valerie Plame.
Libby was convicted on four felony counts of making false statements to the FBI in 2007 and was acquitted on one count of lying. President George W. Bush commuted his sentence, but never issued a full pardon.
But Judith Miller, a former reporter for The New York Times, has published a new book entitled “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey,” where she suggests the prosecuting attorney, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, misled her. Peter Berkowitz has the details in the The Wall Street Journal:
Scooter Libby did not ‘out’ CIA employee Valerie Plame. That was done by then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a critic of the conduct of the Iraq war.
Mr. Armitage disclosed to columnist Robert Novak that Ms. Plame, who at the time held a desk job in the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division, urged the agency to send her husband, retired Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, to Africa in early 2002 to investigate whether Iraq had sought uranium. Presidential aide Karl Rove and then-CIA Director of Public Affairs Bill Harlow confirmed Mr. Armitage’s disclosure for Novak’s July 14, 2003, column.
Miller initially refused to testify in Libby’s trial and was jailed for 85 days. Berkowitz continued:
Ms. Miller’s new memoir recounts that after her conditions had been met and Mr. Fitzgerald asked the court to release her from jail in September 2005, she was summoned to testify before the grand jury.
While Mr. Fitzgerald prepared her, she recalls, his pointed queries led her to believe that a four-word question regarding Joseph Wilson surrounded by parentheses in her notebook—“(wife works in Bureau?)”—proved that Mr. Libby had told her about Ms. Plame’s CIA employment in a June 23, 2003, conversation (well before Mr. Libby’s phone conversation with Russert). She so testified at trial in 2007.
Three years later, Miller was reading Plame’s memoir “Fair Game” and learned she “had worked for the State Department as cover.” This had Miller up in arms as the State Department is organized into “bureaus,” while the CIA is made up of “divisions, which led her to believe that “If Libby, a seasoned bureaucrat, had been trying to plant her employer with me at our first meeting in June, he would not have used the word Bureau to describe where Plame worked.” Berkowitz concluded:
Mr. Fitzgerald, who had the classified file of Ms. Plame’s service, withheld her State Department cover from Ms. Miller—and from Mr. Libby’s lawyers, who had requested Ms. Plame’s employment history. Despite his constitutional and ethical obligation to provide exculpatory evidence, Mr. Fitzgerald encouraged Ms. Miller to misinterpret her ambiguous notes as showing that Mr. Libby brought up Ms. Plame.
If Ms. Miller had testified accurately, she would have dealt a severe blow to Mr. Fitzgerald’s central contention that Mr. Libby was lying when he said he was surprised to hear Russert mention Ms. Plame.
h/t: Right Wing News
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