News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New York Times Reporter Is Jailed for Keeping Source Secret

(via New York Times)

WASHINGTON, July 6 - A federal judge today ordered Judith Miller of The New York Times to be jailed immediately after she again refused to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. operative.

Another reporter who had been facing jail time on the same matter, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, agreed today to testify to a grand jury about his confidential source on the same matter, thus avoiding jail. Mr. Cooper said he had decided to do so only because his source specifically released him from promises of confidentiality just before today's hearing.

The judge, Thomas F. Hogan of Federal District Court in Washington, rejected a request by Ms. Miller and her lawyers that she be allowed to serve her detention at home or in Connecticut or elsewhere, and ordered that she be put in custody and taken to a jail in the District of Columbia area until October, or until she changed her mind about testifying.

Ms. Miller herself told the court that she would not reveal her source no matter how long they jailed her.

"If journalists cannot be trusted to guarantee confidentiality, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press," she read from a statement as she stood before Judge Hogan. "The right of civil disobedience is based on personal conscience, it is fundamental to our system and it is honored throughout our history," she said before court officers led her away, looking shaken.

The executive editor of The Times, Bill Keller, said outside the courthouse that Ms. Miller's decision to go to jail rather than disclose her source was a "brave and principled choice."

"Judy Miller made a commitment to her source and she's standing by it," he said. "This is a chilling conclusion to an utterly confounding case."

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, said in a statement that "there are times when the greater good of our democracy demands an act of conscience."

"Judy has chosen such an act in honoring her promise of confidentiality to her sources," he said. "She believes, as do we, that the free flow of information is critical to an informed citizenry."

Judge Hogan made his decision after an hourlong hearing here this afternoon in which a special prosecutor and lawyers for both journalists presented their respective cases for why the two should or should not be jailed.

Mr. Cooper told the judge that he had been prepared to go to jail until shortly before the hearing.

"Last night I hugged my son good-bye and told him it might be a long time before I see him again," Mr. Cooper said. But just before today's hearing, he had received "in somewhat dramatic fashion" a direct personal communication from his source freeing him from his commitment to keep the source's identity secret.

"It's with a bit of surprise and no small amount of relief that I will comply with the subpoena," he told the judge.

Ms. Miller will be the first Times reporter to serve time behind bars for refusing to disclose sources since M.A. Farber spent 40 days in a New Jersey jail in 1978. In the Farber case, The Times itself was also fined $286,000. Four years later, Gov. Brendan T. Byrne pardoned Mr. Farber, who is now retired, as well as the paper.

Last October, Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper were sentenced to 18 months in jail for civil contempt of court, but those sentences were stayed pending appeal. Last week, the Supreme Court refused to take up the case.

Judge Hogan said last week that the two reporters now faced serving only 4 of the original 18 months of their sentence, because that is all the time left in the term of the current grand jury investigating the leak case. Civil contempt is meant to be coercive rather than punitive.

A lawyer for Ms. Miller, Floyd Abrams, emphasized after the hearing that "Judy Miller has not been accused of a crime or convicted of a crime," adding that "she has been held in civil contempt of court."

Mr. Abrams also said that Judge Hogan had said, "She has the key to her own cell."

The special prosecutor, Patrick A. Fitzgerald, has suggested that the reporters may also face criminal prosecution, which could entail additional penalties.

The case highlights a collision of the press's right to protect its sources, the government's ability to investigate a crime and even the Bush administration's justification for going to war in Iraq.

It began two years ago, when the identity of the C.I.A. operative, Valerie Plame, was first disclosed by the syndicated columnist Robert Novak, presumably after the information was provided by someone in government. Three days later, Mr. Cooper, in an article that also carried the bylines of two other reporters, made a similar disclosure on Time magazine's Web site.

Ms. Miller, on the other hand, did not publish any such disclosures in The Times or elsewhere.

In his column, Mr. Novak, who identified Ms. Plame as the wife of a former diplomat who was critical of American policy on Iraq, cited as his sources two senior Bush administration officials whom he did not identify.

Mr. Fitzgerald is investigating whether by telling reporters about Ms. Plame people in the Bush administration broke a law meant to protect the identities of covert intelligence operatives. As part of that inquiry, several senior administration officials have testified before the grand jury.

Ms. Plame's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former United States ambassador, has maintained that his wife's cover was blown in revenge for an Op-Ed article that he had written for The New York Times questioning Bush administration assertions about weapons of mass destruction that served as sizable justification for going to war with Iraq.

Mr. Novak, who has not been held in contempt or publicly threatened with jail time, has not commented on his involvement in the investigation. Legal experts following the case have said they presume he has cooperated with the special prosecutor.

But Mr. Novak has come under increasing criticism from other journalists and columnists for not disclosing what he knows and what cooperation, if any, he has given to Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr. Novak said recently that he "will reveal all" after the matter is resolved, adding that it is wrong for the government to jail journalists.

The judge's decision to jail Mr. Cooper comes despite Time magazine's decision last week to provide the special prosecutor with Mr. Cooper's notes and other documents after the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. In a filing on Tuesday, Mr. Fitzgerald said that he had reviewed the documents and determined that Mr. Cooper's testimony "remains necessary."

"Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality - no one in America is," Mr. Fitzgerald told the judge on Tuesday.

Mr. Fitzgerald also said in the court papers that the source for both Mr. Cooper and Ms. Miller had waived confidentiality, giving the reporters permission to reveal where they got their information. The prosecutor did not identify that person, nor say whether the source for each reporter was the same person.

Mr. Cooper told the judge today while he had been told his source had signed a general waiver of confidentiality, he would only act with a specific waiver from his source, which he said he got today.

Mr. Fitzgerald, who until then had been restrained in his public filings, was also harshly critical of the position taken by Ms. Miller and of statements supporting her by The Times.

"The court should advise Miller that if she persists in defying the court's order that she will be committing a crime," Mr. Fitzgerald wrote. "Miller and The New York Times appear to have confused Miller's ability to commit contempt with a legal right to do so."

He added: "Much of what appears to motivate Miller to commit contempt is the misguided reinforcement from others (specifically including her publisher) that placing herself above the law can be condoned." Mr. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times, has repeatedly said the newspaper supports Ms. Miller.

Today, after Ms. Miller was taken into custody, Mr. Keller said that prosecutors had failed to disclose what crime, if any, they were investigating.

"It's confounding because of the mystery about exactly what crime has been committed and what exactly the special prosecutor hopes to accomplish by the draconian act of punishing an honorable journalist," he said. "It's chilling because it's likely to serve future cover-ups of information that happens in the recesses of government and other powerful institutions.

"I think that anybody who believes that the government and other powerful institutions should be closely and aggressively watched should feel a chill up their spine today," he said.

Adam Liptak reported from Washington for this article and Maria Newman reported from New York.

Wilson on reporter being jailed: Collateral damage in smear campaign


The following is a statement from Ambassador Joseph Wilson on the sentencing of New York Times Reporter Judith Miller to RAW STORY and Daily Kos' SusanG.

Miller has been sentenced to jail for not revealing her sources in reporting on the outing of Valerie Plame, a former covert CIA operative who is Wilson's wife.

The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom. President Bush’s refusal to enforce his own call for full cooperation with the Special Counsel has brought us to this point. Clearly, the conspiracy to cover up the web of lies that underpinned the invasion of Iraq is more important to the White House than coming clean on a serious breach of national security. Thus has Ms Miller joined my wife, Valerie, and her twenty years of service to this nation as collateral damage in the smear campaign launched when I had the temerity to challenge the President on his assertion that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa.


The real victims of this cover-up, which may have turned criminal, are the Congress, the Constitution and, most tragically, the Americans and Iraqis who have paid the ultimate price for Bush’s folly.

This statement was obtained by Larisa Alexandrovna

US reporter jailed in CIA trial

US reporter jailed in CIA trial
A US court has jailed New York Times journalist Judith Miller for refusing to testify in an investigation into the unmasking of a CIA agent in 2003.
Miller has argued journalists must be allowed to keep sources confidential in order to preserve freedom of the press.

Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, who had also refused to give evidence, said he had received a "dramatic" message, freeing him to testify.

The leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name was a federal offence.

If journalists cannot be trusted to keep confidences, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press
Judith Miller

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is investigating who in the Bush administration gave her name to the media, during a row over evidence used to justify war in Iraq.
He had argued last week that both journalists, who had looked into the leak, should be jailed for their refusal to reveal their sources.

Miller said: "If journalists cannot be trusted to keep confidences, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press".

The publisher of the New York Times has said Miller had acted for the "greater good of our democracy" by "honouring her promise of confidentiality to her sources".

Cooper revealed to the court on Wednesday that he had changed his mind at the last minute.

"I went to bed ready to accept the sanctions" for not testifying, he said.

But, he told the judge, he had then received a "somewhat dramatic" message from his source telling him he was free to testify.

Time magazine turned over Cooper's notes and other documents last week, after the Supreme Court refused to consider the case.

Cooper's lawyers had said that this move made his testimony unnecessary - an argument rejected by the prosecutor.

Media concern

Correspondents say the case is one of the most serious legal clashes between the media and government for decades.

Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality - no-one in America is
Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald

Prosecutor Fitzgerald said "special treatment" for the journalists such as home detention - rather than imprisonment - would "enable, rather than deter, defiance of the court's authority".

"Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality - no-one in America is," he said.

The leak of Ms Plame's name was not made to Cooper or Miller, but they came to the attention of the prosecutor because of their inquiries.

The reporters refused to co-operate with the investigation, claiming they should not have to reveal their sources because of press freedoms guaranteed in the US Constitution.

That defence was over-ruled by a court in Washington.

The case has sparked concern in the US media about press freedoms and prompted calls for federal shield laws.

A number of states have legislation to protect reporters from having to identify their confidential sources.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/07/06 20:00:48 GMT


Karl Rove Bio - Conservative or Crook?

(from visit by clicking on title for article complete with pictures)
Karl Rove

It’s hard to imagine how Karl Rove’s appearance could fit his role any more perfectly than it does.

Portly, balding, malicious, simpering, he looks like a cross between Sesame Street’s Mr. Hooper and the Third Reich’s Heinrich Himmler. And he acts like a cross between Heinrich Himmler and Henry Kissinger. Whom he also looks like. And not in a good way.

Oh yeah, he’s a man who compromised national security, putting lives of American agents in danger. Wait, I forgot a word there. What was it? Oh, I remember! Allegedly.

Rove is an old-school political operator who would have been right at home working on Huey Long’s campaign. Of course, Long did a lot of good things for his constituents, to offset the sleaze and corruption. Rove’s protege, George W Bush, has a ways to go in that regard.

Rove was a "Young Republican" back when being a Young Republican wasn’t cool (a historical era ranging from 1959 through the present). As a student at the prestigious University of Utah, Rove (who still had hair at the time) teamed up with a young Lee Atwater to seize control of the College Republicans political club in the early 1970s.

By all accounts, the race for the coveted chairmanship of the meaningless College Republicans organization was a portent of things to come. According to the Washington Post, the two men executed a balls-to-the-wall campaign to put Rove in the catbird’s seat, and once there, he wasted no time getting his group involved in dirty tricks on behalf of Richard M Nixon’s 1972 campaign. You may remember that campaign, it was the beginning of Watergate.

Oxymoronically, Rove dropped out of college to become executive director of the College Republicans, all the while practicing dirty tricks on behalf of the candidates of his choice. According the Post, these tricks included identity theft, petty larceny and campaign fraud. Rove characterized these felonies and misdemeanors as a "youthful prank."

A political visionary, Rove recognized early on that he had the opportunity to leech onto not one, but two failed, third-rate presidents in the form of what is comically referred to as the "Bush Dynasty." Rove worked as an assistant to George Bush Sr. in the Republican National Committee during what is arguably the lowest point in the history of the Republican Party, the aftermath of the Nixon presidency.

For the next decade or so, Rove kept his nose buried up the ass of the nearest Bush. He helped George Jr. embarrass himself in a 1978 congressional bid, then bailed out of Bush Sr.’s first and failed presidential bid in 1979.

He maintained a close buddyship with the future president Junior, however. In a high point of Time Magazine’s history of powerful journalistic coverage, a 2001 report revealed that George W. Bush’s pet name for Rove is "Turd Blossom." No, really.

Rove helped Bush Jr. transform himself from rich-dilletante wastrel into rich-dilletante-wastrel-with-power in 1994, acting as his political adviser in Dubya’s successful run for Texas governor. According to ABC News, more than half of the campaign’s nearly $1 million budget went to Rove. Considering the challenge of making Bush look good, the sum was probably not out of line.

Rove’s tactics tend toward making politics more about playing percentages than kissing babies. An early adopter of direct mail and targeted computer lists, Rove is widely credited with making the Texas GOP the cash cow is today. He also specialized in converting conservative Democrats who were already Republicans in every meaningful sense into Republicans in name as well, including arch-conservative and failed presidential candidate Phil Gramm, who suspiciously resembles a much thinner version of Rove himself.

Brought in to shepherd Junior to his rightful place as chief executive of the last superpower, Rove was largely responsible for creating the veneer of "compassionate conservatism" that led George Jr. to his triumphant loss in the 2000 presidential election.

First, Rove and his little buddy had to beat off a surprise primary challenge from charismatic war hero John McCain, whose sacrifices in a military prison camp in Vietnam looked all the more impressive against Bush’s no-show National Guard travesty. Rove conducted a whisper-campaign to spread sleaze, pushing ridiculous allegations, such as that McCain was a stoolie while imprisoned in Vietnam. Rove was reputedly the brains behind a sleazy e-mail forward that alleged McCain had fathered an illegitimate black daughter, a lie which was "proven" by actual pictures of McCain with his black daughter, whom he had actually adopted.

Obviously, McCain should have been drinking and snorting coke throughout the ’70s, rather than serving his country, enduring torture and adopting children. Bush trampled the challenger handily, and moved on to the general election, where he faced Vice President Al Gore.

Despite running against the stiffest Democratic candidate since Adlai Stevenson, Dubya couldn’t quite clear the hurdle in the nationwide popular vote, which he lost by a margin five times larger than Nixon lost to Kennedy in 1960. But the pesky little electoral college thing sank Gore, thanks to Jeb and Florida. As early as Labor Day, Rove was doing the usual political dance and predicting it would be a close race. And how close it was! As mentioned above, Gore won the popular vote by a small but convincing margin. However, the electoral college ? which actually dictates who will become president ? was right down to the wire. The outcome of the election rode on the election results in Florida, which Gov. Jeb Bush had promised to "deliver" for his brother.

You all remember Florida. We won’t beat it to death again here. Karl Rove’s role in Florida was "damage control," and there was a lot of damage to control. Rove’s basic public strategy consisted of "we won, so leave us alone." Voting irregularities, mandated recounts -- these things were trivia, bureaucracy, Democratic dirty tricks. "We won" was the message of the day.

Privately, of course, the Bush team was far from certain that they had, in fact, won. Jeb Bush promised to stay out of the recount debate, and instead entrusted it to his political appointees, who lived for no other reason than to curry favor. Rove didn’t like the looks of this, so he stacked the deck in every conceivable way.

Among the tactics he employed: Loading Republican operatives from Washington, D.C., onto a bus and sending them to Florida, where they played the part of "angry mob" shouting and intimidating the hapless bureaucrats who had been lumped with the unenviable job of evaluating the ballots. Ah, those youthful pranks!

In the end, Bush came out on top, of course, catapulting Rove into a position of power that few Mr. Hooper-lookalikes have ever achieved. Although the White House repeatedly insisted that Rove had no policy-making role, the advice of his "White House Office of Strategic Initiatives" was sought on virtually every major decision that Bush administration faced.

After September 11, Rove found himself feeling cranky, according to investigative reporter Bob Woodward. Rove was pissed off because he wasn’t being allowed to sit in on National Security Council and war cabinet meetings. Bush and Dick Cheney were afraid the politico’s presence would send the wrong message.

Bear in mind, it wasn’t that Rove wasn’t being consulted. He was consulted about every single thing that happened in the White House and every decision that emerged from the Oval Office. He just wasn’t being allowed to sit at the meetings himself. He had to get his updates after the fact from Bush, Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

Despite his enormous power, Rove was mostly spared any real scrutiny by the mainstream media, which preferred to write with grudging admiration about his alleged political skills and chuckle over the "Turd Blossom" thing. By the time the Iraq invasion rolled around, Rove was back to sitting in the meetings.

His thoughtful evaluation (told to Woodward) of the ramifications of invading a sovereign country and deposing its leader? "The victor is always right."

Until late 2003, anyway, when an ugly little incident revealed just how dark the dark side of Karl Rove could be, in a burgeoning scandal that could have serious consequences for the Bush White House.

A former U.S. ambassador by the name of Joseph Wilson was one of the biggest political liabilities the White House faced in 2003. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger early in 2002 to investigate whether Iraq was trying to buy uranium there. Turns out, they weren’t.

He reported this information back to the White House, which promptly ignored it. Bush cited the uranium story in his 2003 State of the Union address, Cheney cited it repeatedly, and the State Department cited it in several of its endless justifications for why the U.S. just had to invade Iraq.

When the war was "over" and still no Weapons of Mass Destruction had been found, Wilson pointed out to the media that he had TOLD the White House that there was no uranium purchase. He wrote about his fact-finding trip in the New York Times as well.

This did not please the White House. It was bad for politics, bad for poll numbers. And when the poll numbers are threatened, Karl Rove gets cranky. Homicidally cranky, apparently. Did I say apparently? I meant allegedly.

In July 2003, arch-conservative Robert Novak reported that Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent, blowing her cover and endangering her life, not to mention national security. (Inexplicably, no one has gone after Novak over this issue.)

Wilson and his wife didn’t take this lying down. They came out swinging. Wilson accused Rove of being the source for the leak that endangered his wife’s life and destroyed her career.

"Rove is someone who at a minimum would have condoned it and certainly did nothing to knock it down for over a week after the article appeared. The outing of my wife was obviously a political or communications move. The head of the political operation is Karl Rove," Wilson told reporters.

In late September, the Justice Department launched a full criminal investigation into the leak, which is an aggravated felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine (which actually seems a little low for treasonous activity and political intimidation designed to silence political opposition and whistleblowing).

The White House has refused to speculate on the source of the leak. Not only has it refused it speculate, it’s actually refused to care. Despite widespread outrage, the White House declined to launch an internal investigation of the leak, with a Bush flak saying that it was "ridiculous" to suggest Rove was involved, and that "there has been absolutely nothing brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement." I guess they don’t get CNN on the cable system there.

Needless to say, the prospect of the Bush Justice Department investigating a Bush political operative doesn’t thrill Democrats, who have already called for an independent counsel investigation.

Fortunately for Republicans, the party leadership cleverly disabused the nation about the worth of special prosecutors and impeachment proceedings a few years ago, when they hounded Bill Clinton into a constitutional crisis over blow jobs.

Considering the mounting list of actual scandals the Bushies are racking up, that strategy is proving to be prescient. Most Americans are about as thrilled at the prospect of a special prosecutor as they are at the prospect of a root canal.

In the meantime, just remember: don’t cross Karl Rove. Whoops! We just did... dammit!

25 Dec 1950 Karl Rove born, Denver CO.
1970 Karl Rove sneaks into the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and steals some letterhead. He then prints up 1,000 party invitations promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," which he then distributes to homeless shelters.

1971 Drops out, University of Utah.

1980 First person hired by the George HW Bush presidential campaign.

1981 Starts political consulting firm Karl Rove & Co.

Mar 1991 Testifying under oath before the Texas Senate for an appointment to the Texas State University Board of Regents, Karl Rove prefigures Bill Clinton:

SENATOR GLASGOW: How long have you known an FBI agent by the name of Greg Rampton?
ROVE: Ah, senator, it depends -- would you define "know" for me?

1993 John Ashcroft campaign pays Karl Rove & Co. over $300,000 to help with his senate race. New York Times.

1999 The George W Bush campaign effort pays Karl Rove & Co. $2.5M for July through December. According to Rove, "About 30 percent of that is postage."

1999 Sells Karl Rove & Co..

Dec 2000 Signs a campaign disclosure form, but neglects to mention he is still President of Karl Rove & Co.

Mar 2001 White House political adviser Karl Rove meets with executives from Intel, seeking approval for a merger between a Dutch company and an Intel supplier. The government rubberstamps the deal, and Rove’s $100,000 in Intel stock surges.

Apr 2001 Arnold Schwarzenegger meets with Bush political advisers to discuss whether the actor should run for Governor of California in 2002. Karl Rove says "That would be really nice. That would be really, really nice."

Jun 2001 White House political adviser Karl Rove meets with two pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. At the time, Rove holds almost $250,000 in drug industry stocks.

Jun 2001 White House political adviser Karl Rove meets with a group of Muslim activists including Sami Al-Arian.

12 Mar 2000 George W Bush and his wife Laura are photographed with Karl Rove, during a campaign stop at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

30 Jun 2001 White House political adviser Karl Rove divests his stocks in 23 companies, which included more than $100,000 in each Enron, Boeing, General Electric, and Pfizer.

30 Jun 2001 The White House admits that political adviser Karl Rove was involved in administration energy policy meetings, while at the same time holding stock in energy companies including Enron.

10 Apr 2003 Arnold Schwarzenegger meets with White House political adviser Karl Rove to discuss anything other than whether the actor should run for Governor of California in 2006.

14 May 2003 During a meeting with South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun, President George W Bush brings only two officials: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and political adviser Karl Rove.

29 Aug 2003 Retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson names Karl Rove as the White House insider who leaked his wife’s identity as a CIA operative to the press.

28 Mar 2004 Several hundred supporters of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act pile out of school busses in front of Karl Rove’s house in Washington D.C., swarming onto his front lawn and shouting for him to support the act. Rove appears briefly to order the mob off his property, at which point they rush his house, banging on the windows and doors. He finally agrees to talk to two representatives if the mob disperses; they do, and after a couple minutes of discussion he shuts the door on them midsentence.

by : rotten library bios
Wednesday 6th July 2005

Time Reporter's Testimony Sought

Prosecutor Tries to Force Cooperation

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; A03

A special prosecutor demanded yesterday that Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper answer questions about his confidential sources and again urged a federal judge to jail him and New York Times reporter Judith Miller if they continue to refuse to comply.

In a court filing yesterday, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald said that Cooper still must agree to cooperate with prosecutors to avoid jail, even though Time last week turned over notes and e-mails that identify his sources for an article on the disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's identity.

In unusually blunt language, Fitzgerald told Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan that Cooper and Miller pretend that journalists have a broader right to protect confidential sources than lawyers, presidents and law enforcement officers.

"Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality -- no one in America is," he wrote.

Fitzgerald's arguments set the stage for a historic showdown in federal court between the government and the news media this afternoon, when Hogan could order the two reporters confined for defying his October order to cooperate in the grand jury investigation.

Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether senior Bush administration officials broke the law by knowingly leaking the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame to reporters as retaliation for an opinion piece written by her husband. Plame's name first appeared in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak in July 2003, eight days after her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, accused the administration of twisting intelligence to justify war with Iraq.

Responding to court filings last week by the two reporters, Fitzgerald urged Hogan to reject their requests for home detention or assignment to prison camps for white-collar criminals, and to confine them immediately for four months. Typically, that time would be spent in the D.C. jail.

Cooper and Time declined to comment yesterday on Cooper's intentions, but colleagues said he is still struggling with his decision. For practical purposes, he cannot protect his sources because his publication has already turned over notes that identify them. But if Cooper cooperates, friends say, he fears his journalistic reputation will be tarnished. Time editors have told him they will respect whatever decision he makes, they said.

Miller and the New York Times declined to comment yesterday, but she has steadfastly maintained she will go to jail rather than discuss her sources before a grand jury.

Fitzgerald's investigation has included interviews with President Bush; former secretary of state Colin L. Powell; Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove; Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby; and others. Under arrangements that did not involve them identifying confidential sources, four reporters -- Walter Pincus and Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, NBC Washington Bureau chief Tim Russert, and Cooper -- have already answered a limited number of questions from the prosecutor.

On Saturday, Rove's attorney said that Rove spoke with Cooper during the critical period in July 2003, just after Wilson's piece appeared, when reporters were calling the White House to ask questions about Wilson's assertions. But he said that Rove did not reveal Plame's identity and that Fitzgerald has assured him Rove is not a target of the investigation.

Fitzgerald may learn more details from Cooper's notes. Sources close to the investigation say there is evidence in some instances that some reporters may have told government officials -- not the other way around -- that Wilson was married to Plame, a CIA employee.

At a lunch meeting yesterday with Washington Post reporters and editors, Rove declined to answer questions about the Plame case.

It is a felony to knowingly identify a covert CIA operative. But lawyers for some media say they believe Fitzgerald has no evidence that a government official committed that crime. Time Inc. argued last week to Hogan that Fitzgerald may have evidence that an official perjured himself during the investigation, but contended that the effort to prove that does not justify jailing reporters.

In his filings yesterday, Fitzgerald used strong language to complain about the reporters' professed goal of protecting their sources. It would be "pointless" for Cooper to go to jail, he said, because Time effectively identified the source whom Fitzgerald is interested in when it turned over Cooper's notes and e-mails. Cooper's source has also waived Cooper's promise of confidentiality.

Likewise, Fitzgerald has repeatedly said he already knows the identity of Miller's source and that person has relieved Miller of her duty to protect the source's anonymity. Yesterday, he suggested Miller will likely spend time in jail thinking about "whether the interests of journalism at large, and even more broadly, the proper conduct of government, are truly served" by her continued refusal to discuss her sources.

"Miller's views may change over time," he said, if her "irresponsible martyrdom" is later viewed by her industry colleagues as hurting, rather than helping, reporters' efforts to protect their sources, he wrote.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

Democrats' letter: Rove must explain role in CIA outing or resign

The following letter, drafted by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), was issued to other House Democrats for signature this afternoon, and obtained by RAW STORY.

Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, calls on Bush adviser Karl Rove to explain his role in the outing of a CIA agent or resign his office.

"We write in order to urge that you require your Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, to either come forward immediately to explain his role in the Valerie Plame matter or to resign from your Administration," the veteran Democrat writes. "High-ranking members of your Administration who are involved in any effort to smear a private citizen or to disseminate information regarding a CIA operative should be expected to meet a far higher standard of ethical behavior and forthrightness."


The letter follows.

July 7, 2005

The President
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We write in order to urge that you require your Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, to either come forward immediately to explain his role in the Valerie Plame matter or to resign from your Administration.

Notwithstanding whether Mr. Rove intentionally violated the law in leaking information concerning former CIA operative Valerie Plame, we believe it is not tenable to maintain Mr. Rove as one of your most important advisors unless he is willing to explain his central role in using the power and authority of your Administration to disseminate information regarding Ms. Plame and to undermine her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

We now know that e-mails recently turned over by Time, Inc. between writer Matthew Cooper and Time editors reveal that one of Mr. Cooper’s principal sources in the Plame matter was Mr. Rove. This has been confirmed by Newsweek and two lawyers representing witnesses involved in the investigation. Mr. Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, also has confirmed that Mr. Rove was interviewed by Mr. Cooper in connection with a possible article about Ms. Plame three or four days before Robert Novak wrote a column outing Ms. Plame as a CIA operative.

We also know that Mr. Rove told Chris Matthews that Ambassador Wilson’s wife and her undercover status were “fair game.” A White House source also appears to have previously acknowledged that Mr. Rove contacted Mr. Matthews and other journalists, indicating that “it was reasonable to discuss who sent Wilson to Niger.”

The above facts appear to be directly inconsistent with previous statements by you and representatives of your Administration concerning leaking in general and the Plame case in particular. For example, on September 30, 2003, you stated “there’s just too many leaks [in Washington]. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.” You also stated “I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.” On October 10, 2003, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was asked if Mr. Rove or two other aides in your Administration had ever discussed the Plame matter with any reporter, and he stated he had spoken to Mr. Rove and the others and “they assured me that they were not involved in this.”

Regardless of whether these actions violate the law – including specific laws against the disclosure of classified information as well as broader laws against obstruction of justice, the negligent distribution of defense information, and obligating reporting of press leaks to proper authorities – they seem to reveal a course of conduct designed to threaten and intimidate those who provide information critical of your Administration, such as Ambassador Wilson.

We hope you agree with us that such behavior should never be tolerated by any Administration. While it is acceptable for a private citizen to use every legal tool at his or her disposal to protect himself against legal liability, high-ranking members of your Administration who are involved in any effort to smear a private citizen or to disseminate information regarding a CIA operative should be expected to meet a far higher standard of ethical behavior and forthrightness. This is why we believe it is so important that Mr. Rove publicly and fully explain his role in this matter.


Lawrence O'Donnell: Three Questions for Karl Rove's Lawyer

Lawrence O'Donnell: Three Questions for Karl Rove's Lawyer Lawrence O'Donnell
Tue Jul 5, 4:39 PM ET

I have a call in to Bob Luskin, Karl Rove’s lawyer, but I’m not holding my breath for a call back. He knows I know too much, since I broke the story last week that his client is one of the secret sources Matt Cooper has been protecting for the last two years. I have three questions for Luskin:

Q: You’ve said Rove is not a target of the investigation. Is he a subject of the investigation?

Q: Since Time delivered its e-mails to the prosecutor on Friday, have you asked the prosecutor whether Rove’s status has changed? From witness to subject? Or subject to target?

Q: You told Newsweek that your client “never knowingly disclosed classified information.” Did Rove ever unknowingly disclose classified information?

Luskin spent the weekend on the phone with reporters from Newsweek, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times trying to put out the fire I started on Friday. He relied heavily on the claim that the prosecutor had assured him that Rove is not a target of the investigation.

Here is the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual's definition of target: “A ‘target’ is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.”

Getting an assurance that you are not a target is pretty easy until the prosecutor really has the goods on you -- “a putative defendant.”

Here’s the Manual’s definition of subject: “A ‘subject’ of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury's investigation.” Subjects frequently have their status upgraded to target when prosecutors get new information, like this one did on Friday.

Subject is a scary status. Prosecutors have to attach an "Advice of Rights" form to all grand jury subpoenas served on any "target" or "subject" of an investigation. Here’s what the form says:

* You may refuse to answer any question if a truthful answer to the question would tend to incriminate you. * Anything that you do say may be used against you by the grand jury or in a subsequent legal proceeding.

* If you have retained counsel, the grand jury will permit you a reasonable opportunity to step outside the grand jury room to consult with counsel if you so desire.

Mere witnesses don’t get those forms attached to their subpoenas. Was it attached to any one of the three subpoenas Rove got from the grand jury? Three trips to the same grand jury is frequently an indicator of subject status.

I have no problem with Luskin reading my questions here before he gets on the phone with me or any of the reporters he has already been willing to talk to. These aren’t the kinds of questions you can easily fudge the answers to. I would never waste a lawyers’ time with one of those. All I need is a yes or no. Won’t take a minute.