Fox News is expected to announce today the hiring of a new contributor, a veteran national security correspondent who has shared a Pulitzer Prize.
Her name is Judith Miller, and she is nothing if not controversial. Miller left the New York Times in 2005 after testifying in the trial of former White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby that he had leaked her information about a CIA operative. Miller’s conduct in the case, which led to her serving 85 days in jail for initially refusing to testify, drew rebukes from the Times executive editor and some of her colleagues.
In the run-up to the Iraq war, Miller reported stories on the search for Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be untrue, some of which were cited in a Times editor’s note acknowledging the flawed coverage. Miller, now with the conservative Manhattan Institute, wrote when she left the paper that she had “become a lightning rod for public fury over the intelligence failures that helped lead our country to war.”
Miller will be an on-air analyst and will write for Fox’s Web site. “She has a very impressive résumé,” says Senior Vice President John Moody. “We’ve all had stories that didn’t come out exactly as we had hoped. It’s certainly something she’s going to be associated with for all time, and there’s not much anyone can do about that, but we want to make use of the tremendous expertise she brings on a lot of other issues. . . . She has explained herself and she has nothing to apologize for.”
Oh really? Well her Wikipedia entry tells a different story:
Judith Miller (born January 2, 1948), is an American journalist. Miller, based in Washington D.C., was a prominent New York Times reporter with access to top U.S. government officials. Her coverage of these officials, especially regarding the Bush administration’s conclusions about Iraq’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Program and her involvement in the Plame Affair, made her a conspicuous media personality. The work that Miller and Michael Gordon did in presenting the case for WMDs has been proven false. The New York Times apologized publicly for their poor reporting. Ms. Miller lost her job over these reporting blunders though Mr. Gordon has remained a reporter for the New York Times. Miller announced her “retirement” from The New York Times on November 9, 2005.
In July 2005, Miller was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a leak naming Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent. Miller did not write about Plame, but was reportedly in possession of evidence relevant to the leak investigation. According to a subpoena, Miller met with an unnamed government official — later revealed to be I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff—on July 8, 2003, two days after former ambassador Joseph Wilson published an Op-Ed in the Times criticizing the Bush administration for “twisting” intelligence to justify war in Iraq. (Plame’s CIA identity was revealed in a column by conservative political commentator Robert Novak on July 14, 2003.)
On July 16, 2005, The Washington Post reported that Miller could face criminal contempt charges, which could have extended her jail time six months beyond the four months then anticipated. The Post also suggested that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was particularly interested in hearing Miller’s version of her encounter with Libby. While Libby signed a waiver allowing journalists to testify about their conversations on this subject, Miller had reportedly refused to accept its validity on the grounds that it was “coerced.”
Filings by Patrick Fitzgerald alleged that Miller’s defiance of the court constituted a crime.
On September 29, 2005, after spending 85 days in jail, Miller was released after a telephone call with Libby. He had reaffirmed a release of confidentiality that he had given her a year earlier and that she had already known about. Under oath, Miller was questioned by Patrick Fitzgerald before a federal grand jury the following day, September 30th, 2005 but was not relieved of contempt charges until after testifying again on October 12, 2005. For her second grand jury appearance, Miller produced a notebook from a previously-undisclosed meeting with Libby on June 23, 2003, several weeks before Wilson’s New York Times editorial was published. According to Miller’s notes from that earlier meeting, Libby disclosed that Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA employee involved in her husband’s trip to Niger. Miller’s notebook from her July 8, 2003 meeting with Libby contains the name “Valerie Flame [sic]”. This reference occurred six days before Novak published Plame’s name and unmasked her as a CIA “operative.”
The New York Times published Miller’s first-person account, “My Four Hours Testifying in the Federal Grand Jury Room,” on October 16, 2005. After having invoked First Amendment journalistic principles in going to jail, Miller was widely derided for saying that she could not remember who gave her the name “Valerie Plame” (presumably a key fact in the case) but that she was sure it didn’t come from Libby. (Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer testified, for example, that he was told Plame’s name and CIA identity by Libby at lunch on July 7th, 2003, one day before Libby’s breakfast meeting with Miller.) Miller’s grand jury account was her last article in the New York Times, which negotiated a private severance package shortly afterwards. Miller testified as a witness on January 30, 2007 at the trial of “Scooter” Libby, which began in January 2007 and ended with Libby’s conviction on four of five counts on March 6, 2007.
Well I guess there’s nothing left to say to Judy but “Hello Bluebird”.
And to the rest of us, Watch out cause here comes the bird shit!