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

Sunday, October 16, 2005

First Reactions to Miller Opus: Many Questions Remain

By E&P Staff

Published: October 16, 2005 11:00 AM ET

NEW YORK In appearances on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday morning, CNN’s Frank Sesno, syndicated columnist and blogger Arianna Huffington, and host Howard Kurtz criticized, to varying degrees, The New York Times’ lengthy article on Judith Miller’s involvement in the Plame scandal as insufficient.

In the Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, James Rainey provided instant outside reaction to The New York Times' article Sunday, featuring quotes from ex-Timesmen.

"I don't think the Times looks any better today than it did yesterday," said Adam Clymer, the paper's former chief Washington correspondent, now retired.

"You can't blame her for wanting to get out of jail," said Alex S. Jones, director of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. "But this whole thing leaves a very strange aftertaste about Scooter Libby and her relationship with him and whether she is in some fashion protecting him."

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism: "Is it really the waiver [from Libby] that got her to testify? Or was it that she became tired of jail?"

On the CNN show Sunday morning, Sesno called the Times opus an “honest accounting but not a full accounting. There are still a lot of questions and the public has a right to know -- but still does not know,” such as confusion surrounding her long-delayed “waiver” deal.

Huffington said the main unanswered question was: Why did Arthur Sulzberger allow Miller "to hijack" the Times’ newsroom policy on this story?”Greg Mitchell's Pressing Issues

Kurtz said he agreed there were still many unanswered questions but, more than those two guests, “I’ll give the paper credit for answering many of them.” But throughout the segment, he raised strong questions about the Times’ mishandling of the Miller affair.

Sesno pointed out that the Times had really suffered because of its weak coverage of this matter and he wondered if “editorial higher-ups” or corporate lawyers discouraged or distorted the paper’s work. He called this an “ugly case” and said it “shows the use and abuse of confidential sources.”

Huffington said she did not buy Miller’s explanation that she could not recall her sources who named Plame, because “after all, her notes were only a few weeks old when Robert Novak’s column came out” and all hell broke loose.

Lucy Dalglish, director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a strong Miller supporter, agreed that Miller allowing I. Lewis Libby to determine how she would describe him in a story (as a former congressional aide rather than as an administration official) was “a little misleading and a little odd.” She defended Miller’s decision to protect a source and called for a federal shield law.

At this, Huffington said, “It’s really time for Lucy and other defenders to update their talking points. It’s clear from today’s articles the Miller was mainly protecting other sources on the leak” and left principles behind eventually because "she got tired of waiting in jail.”

Sesno said that the revelations about the Times’ editor and publisher failing to probe Miller or look at her notes were “a giant shot across the bow of every editor and producer in the business. It shows the need to control reporters and examine what they have.”

Kurtz said he had invited representatives from the Times on the show, but they had refused.

Also on Sunday, Mickey Kaus at the popular blog Kausfiles offered this assessment:

Isn't this a major blow against testimonial immunity for reporters, in practice? Here is how the NYT itself reported the final argument made on behalf of Judith Miller before she was jailed:

Robert S. Bennett, a lawyer for Ms. Miller, urged Judge Hogan to conclude that Ms. Miller would never talk, making confinement pointless.

"It's now clear (Miller's) confinement wasn't pointless. It worked for the prosecutor exactly as intended. After a couple of months of sleeping on 'two thin mats on a concrete slab,' Miller decided, in her words, 'I owed it to myself' to check and see if just maybe Libby really meant to release her from her promise of confidentiality. And sure enough-- you know what?--it turns out he did!

"The message sent to every prosecutor in the country is 'Don't believe journalists who say they will never testify. A bit of hard time and they just might find a reason to change their minds. Judy Miller did.' This is the victory for the press the Times has achieved. More journalists will now go to jail, quite possibly, than if Miller had just cut a deal right away, before taking her stand on 'principle.'"

Finally, James W0lcott at his Vanity Fair blog:

"Let us not be too harsh on Judith Miller herself, however. She was caught up in the hypnotic voodoo of highstakes journalism. We've all been there. All of us veteran reporters who risk our parking privileges in pursuit of a hot story know what it's like to have strange words leap into your notebook out of nowhere in the middle of an intense interrogation.

"You're sitting there having breakfast at the St. Regis with Scooter Aspen, buttering each other's toast, and somehow the name 'Valerie Flame' pops up in your notebook without you knowing how it got there! It's your handwriting, sure enough, but rack your brain much as you will, you just can't remember which little birdie tweeted that name into your ear."

'Hidden Scandal' in Miller Story, Charges Former CBS Newsman

By E&P Staff

Published: October 16, 2005 4:00 PM ET

NEW YORK Since the posting of The New York Times lengthy article on Judith Miller's involvement in the Plame scandal Saturday night, much Web buzzing has ensued concerning the revelation that she had some sort of special classified status while embedded with troops in Iraq at one point.

The issue came to the fore because Miller, in recounting her grand jury testimony, wrote about how her former classified status figured in her discussions with I. Lewis Libby. She was pressed by the prosecutor on this matter.

E&P columnist William E. Jackson, Jr., had first raised this issue last year. Today, former CBS national security correspondent Bill Lynch posted his views in a long letter about it at the Romenesko site at Here is the letter:


There is one enormous journalism scandal hidden in Judith Miller's Oct. 16th first person article about the (perhaps lesser) CIA leak scandal. And that is Ms. Miller's revelation that she was granted a DoD security clearance while embedded with the WMD search team in Iraq in 2003.

This is as close as one can get to government licensing of journalists and the New York Times (if it knew) should never have allowed her to become so compromised. It is all the more puzzling that a reporter who as a matter of principle would sacrifice 85 days of her freedom to protect a source would so willingly agree to be officially muzzled and thereby deny potentially valuable information to the readers whose right to be informed she claims to value so highly.

One must assume that Ms. Miller was required to sign a standard and legally binding agreement that she would never divulge classified information to which she became privy, without risk of criminal prosecution. And she apparently plans to adhere to the letter of that self-censorship deal; witness her dilemma at being unable to share classified information with her editors.

In an era where the Bush Administration seeks to conceal mountains of government activity under various levels of security classification, why would any self-respecting news organization or individual journalist agree to become part of such a system? Readers would be right to question whether a reporter is operating under a security clearance and, by definition, withholding critical information. Does a newspaper not have the obligation to disclose to its readers when a reporter is not only embedded with a military unit but also officially proscribed in what she may report without running afoul of espionage laws? Was that ever done in Ms. Miller's articles from Iraq?

It is not hard to imagine a defense lawyer being granted a security clearance to defend, say, an "enemy combatant." When the lawyer gets access to classified information in the case, he discovers it is full of false or exculpatory information. But, because he's signed the secrecy oath, there's not a damn thing he can do except whine on the courthouse steps that his client is innocent but he can't say why. A journalist should never be put in an equivalent position, but this is precisely what Ms. Miller has opened herself to.

There are other questions. Does she still have a clearance? Did she have it when talking to Scooter Libby? Is that why she never wrote the Wilson/Plame story?

I am a former White House and national security correspondent and have had plenty of access to classified information. When I divulged it, it was always with a common sense appraisal of the balance between any potential harm done and the public's right to know. If I had doubts, I would run it by officers whose judgement I trusted. In my experience, defense and intelligence officials routinely share secrets with reporters in the full expectation they will be reported. But if any official had ever offered me a security clearance, my instincts would have sent me running. I am gravely disappointed Ms. Miller did not do likewise.

It strikes me that Ms. Miller's situation is the flip side of the NYT's Jayson Blair coin. He and the Times were rightly disgraced for fabricating. In my opinion, Miller also violated her duty to report the truth by accepting a binding obligation to withhold key facts the government deems secret, even when that information might contradict the reportable "facts."

If Ms. Miller agreed to operate under a security clearance without the knowledge or approval of Times managers, she should be disciplined or even dismissed. If she had their approval, all involved should be ashamed.

United Press International - NewsTrack - Rove to quit if indicted

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Karl Rove plans to resign as President Bush's senior adviser if he is indicted in the CIA leak case.

Time Magazine reports White House officials say Rove and I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff -- both at the center of the federal investigation -- will resign to minimize damage to the administration.

Both Rove and Libby have testified before a grand jury investigating who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Wilson -- also known by her maiden name Valerie Plame -- to the press.

Former ambassador Joseph Wilson was an outspoken critic of Bush's assertions on Saddam Hussein's quest for weapons of mass destruction. He says the leak of his wife's name was an attack on him.

Rove talked to Time Magazine writer Matthew Cooper about Plame. He failed to tell federal investigators about the conversation initially. Rove has testified four times before a federal grand jury looking into the matter.

Libby had numerous conversations with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, but says he didn't mention Plame as a CIA agent.

Miller said she doesn't remember who told her Plame's name, but she said Libby told her Wilson's wife worked for a CIA unit.

New Questions Arise in CIA Leak Probe - Yahoo! News

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

New details about Judith Miller's decision to cooperate in the CIA leak probe are raising questions about whether Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and his defense lawyer tried to steer the New York Times reporter's testimony.

The dispute arose as the newspaper on Sunday detailed three conversations that Miller had with the Cheney aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in the summer of 2003 about Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson and Wilson's wife, covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

The issue over the contacts between representatives for Miller and Libby has arisen even though Libby's lawyer insists his client granted an unconditional waiver of confidentiality more than a year ago for the reporter to testify.

The criminal investigation into the leaking of Plame's identity is nearing an end, and two Democratic senators said any Bush administration aide indicted in the probe ought to step aside.

Bush should return to the standard he first set when he said that anyone involved in the leak would be fired rather than stick a later statement that anyone convicted of a crime would be ousted, said Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich., on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Presidential aide Karl Rove and Libby "have been implicated directly in an effort to discredit Joe Wilson," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat. Durbin told "Fox News Sunday" if Rove or Libby are indicted, "the tradition is they should be removed."

Rove gave grand jury testimony Friday — his fourth appearance. He was warned ahead of time by the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, that there is no guarantee he would escape indictment.

Rove did not initially tell investigators that he had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper about Wilson and his wife's status as a CIA officer.

"There's no question that, when you don't reveal something that appears to be material to an investigator initially, it raises questions in a prosecutor's mind and perhaps a grand juror's mind," said Joseph diGenova, a U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration.

"But it's also true, for those of us who have had witnesses as government attorneys and as defense attorneys, that people do forget things," he told ABC's "This Week."

In urging her to cooperate with prosecutors, Libby wrote Miller while she was still in jail in September, "I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all. ... The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me."

One of Miller's lawyers, Robert Bennett, said on ABC that Libby's letter was "a very stupid thing to do."

When asked whether he thought Libby's letter was an attempt to steer her prospective testimony, Bennett said, "I wouldn't say the answer to that is yes, but it was very troubling."

In a first-person account in the Times, Miller said that in her recent grand jury testimony, Fitzgerald asked her "whether I thought Mr. Libby had tried to shape my testimony."

Miller said she told the special counsel that Libby's letter could be perceived as an effort by Libby "to suggest that I, too, would say that we had not discussed Ms. Plame's identity." But she added that her notes of the conversations "suggested that we had discussed her job" at the CIA and not her name.

Miller wrote Plame's name in the same notebook she used when taking notes of her Libby interviews in 2003, but the reporter said she did not think she had gotten the name from Libby. She said she could not recall from whom she got the name.

The Times reported that over a year ago Tate passed along to Miller lawyer Floyd Abrams information about Libby's grand jury testimony — that the White House aide had not told Miller the name or undercover status of Plame.

Miller told the newspaper that Abrams gave her the following description of a conversation Abrams had with Tate: "He was pressing about what you would say. When I wouldn't give him an assurance that you would exonerate Libby, if you were to cooperate, he then immediately gave me this, 'Don't go there,' or, 'We don't want you there.'"

In an e-mail message to the Times on Friday, Tate called Miller's interpretation "outrageous." "I never once suggested that she should not testify," Tate wrote. "It was just the opposite. I told Mr. Abrams that the waiver was voluntary."

Tate added, "'Don't go there' or 'We don't want you there' is not something I said, would say, or ever implied or suggested."

Cheney aide a key focus in CIA leak probe: lawyers - Yahoo! News

By Adam Entous

Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff could face obstruction and other charges over exchanges with a New York Times reporter as prosecutors wind up an investigation of who leaked a covert CIA operative's identity, people close to the case said on Sunday.

President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, were among the possible targets of the probe. Legal sources said special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was likely to decide this week whether or not to bring indictments.

While Fitzgerald could try to charge administration officials with knowingly revealing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, several lawyers in the case said he was more likely to seek charges for conspiracy and easier-to-prove crimes such as disclosing classified information, making false statements, obstruction and perjury.

Fitzgerald could also decide that no crime was committed.

Plame's diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, says White House officials outed his wife, damaging her ability to work undercover, to discredit him for accusing the administration of twisting intelligence to justify the Iraq war in a New York Times opinion piece on July 6, 2003.

"Fitzgerald is putting together a big case, and he's looking for little pieces of a puzzle," Robert Bennett, the lead attorney for New York Times reporter Judith Miller, said on ABC's "This Week."

Miller spent 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify and published an account of her grand jury testimony in Sunday's New York Times.

Legal sources said Rove could be vulnerable to a perjury charge for not initially telling the grand jury that he talked to Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper about Plame.

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, brushed aside speculation about Fitzgerald's intentions, saying, "Rove has at all times strived to be as truthful as possible and voluntarily brought the Cooper conversation to Fitzgerald's attention."

White House officials were bracing for the possibility of bad news from the inquiry. It seemed clear that Rove would have to step down, at least temporarily, if indicted.


Libby could be open to false statement and obstruction charges if his testimony contradicts Miller's and if the prosecutor concludes that a private letter Libby sent to Miller was intended to influence her grand jury testimony, lawyers and other sources involved in the case said.

"Much would depend upon what Mr. Libby said to the grand jury. If he said that he had not talked to Judy about these things or didn't talk about the wife, then he's got a problem," Bennett said.

Libby discussed Wilson's wife with Miller as many as three times before columnist Robert Novak publicly identified her as Valerie Plame, a CIA operative on weapons of mass destruction.

Miller disclosed on Saturday that the notebook that she used for an interview with Libby in July 2003 contained the name "Valerie Flame," a clear reference to Plame. But Miller told Fitzgerald she did not think Libby was the source of the name and that she could not recall who gave her that information, according to her account in The New York Times.

Bennett said it was not clear from Miller's testimony whether or not Libby shared with her classified information.

But sources said Libby could be in legal jeopardy over one sentence in a September 15 letter he sent to Miller while she was still in jail. In that letter, Libby urged Miller to testify about their conversations and noted that other reporters have made clear to the grand jury that "they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me."

Miller said that part of Libby's letter surprised her "because it might be perceived as an effort by Mr. Libby to suggest that I, too, would say we had not discussed Ms. Plame's identity."

"Yet my notes suggested that we had discussed her job," said Miller.

Bennett called Libby's reference to the testimony of other reporters "very troubling."

"Our reaction when we got that letter, both Judy's and mine, is that was a very stupid thing to put in a letter because it just complicated the situation," Bennett said.

Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate, has not returned calls seeking comment. Contingency plan -- Oct. 24, 2005 -- Page 1

Posted Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005
Karl rove has a plan, as always. Even before testifying last week for the fourth time before a grand jury probing the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, Bush senior adviser Rove and others at the White House had concluded that if indicted he would immediately resign or possibly go on unpaid leave, several legal and Administration sources familiar with the thinking told TIME.

Resignation is the much more likely scenario, they say. The same would apply to I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the Vice President's chief of staff, who also faces a possible indictment. A former White House official says Rove's break with Bush would have to be clean—no "giving advice from the sidelines"—for the sake of the Administration.

Severing his ties would allow Rove—who as deputy chief of staff runs a vast swath of the West Wing—to fight aggressively "any bull___ charges," says a source close to Rove, like allegations that he was part of a broad conspiracy to discredit Plame's husband Joseph Wilson. Rove's defense: whatever he did fell far short of that.

Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be seriously weighing a perjury charge for Rove's failure to tell grand jurors that he talked to TIME correspondent Matthew Cooper about Plame, according to a person close to Rove. Rove corrected himself in a later grand jury session. If charged with perjury, he will maintain he simply didn't recall the conversation with Cooper and told Fitzgerald as soon as he did.

Those strategies are being shaped absent any real knowledge of what Fitzgerald might do before the grand jury's scheduled dissolution on Oct. 28. "If he played his cards any closer to the vest, they'd be in his underwear," says a lawyer who is a friend of the White House. But Fitzgerald's intentions aren't the only mystery. Another character in the drama remains unnamed: the original source for columnist Robert Novak, who wrote the first piece naming Plame. Fitzgerald, says a lawyer who's involved in the case, "knows who it is—and it's not someone at the White House."

On Sunday, Oct. 16, the New York Times published its long-awaited account of reporter Judith Miller's dealings with Libby; she had spent 85 days in jail before receiving written and oral permission from Libby to testify before the grand jury. The nearly 6,000-word Times account says that notes Miller turned over to the prosecutor contain Plame's name, misspelled as "Valerie Flame," in the same notebook she used to interview Libby, but as Miller wrote in an accompanying first-person piece in the Times, she told the grand jury she believed that information came from "another source, whom I could not recall." In her 3,500-word account of her grand jury appearance, Miller says Fitzgerald also asked questions about Vice President Dick Cheney, including if Libby ever indicated to her whether "Cheney had approved of his interviews with me or was aware of them. The answer is no." The Times account makes clear that Miller's bosses supported her decision to go to jail but that there were deep tensions between Miller and her editors about her overall role in the affair and a disagreement between one of her lawyers, Robert Bennett, and the Times lawyer about her eventual reaching out to Libby that resulted in her freedom.

One key point that Fitzgerald is sure to pursue: in his letter to Miller allowing her to testify, Libby asserted that "the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me." In her account, Miller made clear that while she could not recall if Libby had ever identified Wilson's wife by name, he did in fact tell her in a two-hour breakfast meeting on July 8, 2003—six days before columnist Novak disclosed to the world Plame's name and her role as an operative at the agency—that Wilson's wife worked at WINPAC, which stands for Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, a CIA unit that tracks unconventional weapons. Miller testified that she assumed that meant Wilson's wife worked as an analyst, not as an undercover operative.

Reporter Says Libby Told Her About CIA Operative

Times' Miller Cites More Than One Instance

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 16, 2005; A01

Vice President Cheney's chief of staff discussed with New York Times correspondent Judith Miller the fact that the wife of a White House critic worked for the CIA on as many as three occasions before the woman, Valerie Plame, was publicly identified, according to a Times account published today.

During one of the 2003 conversations with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Miller said, she wrote a version of Plame's name in her notebook.

In a disclosure that could figure in special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation, Miller said she initially refused to testify about her discussions with Libby because she believed he was signaling her that she should not cooperate in the CIA leak investigation unless her account would clear him.

Miller said her lawyer Floyd Abrams told her that Libby's attorney, Joseph A. Tate, had related part of Libby's grand jury testimony and was "pressing about what you would say. When I wouldn't give him an assurance that you would exonerate Libby, if you were to cooperate, he then immediately gave me this, 'Don't go there, or, we don't want you there.' "

Tate strongly denied such a conversation in an e-mail to the Times, calling the account "outrageous" and insisting that "I never once suggested that she should not testify. It was just the opposite." He did not return a phone call from The Washington Post last night.

Miller was jailed for 85 days for refusing to testify about Libby, until she reached an accommodation last month with Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald has been investigating whether any administration officials -- including Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who testified for a fourth time Friday -- broke the law by disclosing the identity of a covert CIA operative. Lawyers involved in the case have said they believe he is investigating other potential crimes, such as whether there was a conspiracy in the administration to discredit Plame's husband and White House critic, former ambassador Joseph Wilson IV. A grand jury examining the issue expires on Oct. 28.

Libby, though little known to the public, was a major supporter of the Iraq war and wields great influence on foreign policy and other issues within the administration.

In the first on-the-record account of what she told a federal grand jury in two recent appearances, Miller described a meeting on June 23, 2003, with Libby in the Old Executive Office Building. She said her notes leave open the possibility that Libby told her Wilson's wife might work at the CIA. "Wife works at bureau?" the notes say.

This conversation -- for which Miller only recently found her notes -- occurred when Wilson had not yet gone public with his criticism that President Bush had exaggerated evidence that Iraq was seeking weapons of mass destruction.

During that encounter, Miller said in the Times, Libby was angry about reports that Cheney and other senior officials had embraced flimsy evidence about Iraq seeking nuclear material in the African nation of Niger and was concerned about "selective leaking" by the CIA to distance the agency if no illegal Iraqi weapons were found. Libby noted that the CIA had sent a "clandestine guy" -- a reference to Wilson -- to Niger on a fact-finding mission.

On July 8, 2003 -- two days after Wilson published a denunciation of the White House on the weapons issue -- Miller had breakfast with Libby at the St. Regis Hotel. Miller said Libby told her that Wilson's wife worked for a CIA bureau called Winpac, for weapons intelligence, nonproliferation and arms control. Miller said she testified, however, that Libby did not refer to Plame by name or mention her covert status.

Her notebook from that day includes the notation "Valerie Flame," but she says the name appeared in a different section of the notebook from her Libby interview notes and that she believes it came from another source who, Miller maintains, she cannot recall.

That raises the question of whether other administration officials discussed Plame's CIA status with Miller after Libby, by her recollection, was the first to raise it. By the time she and Libby discussed Plame again, by phone on July 12, Miller said, she had talked about Wilson's wife -- her notes from that conversation refer incorrectly to "Victoria Wilson" -- with other unidentified sources. Fitzgerald lost the opportunity to question Miller about these sources by agreeing, as part of the deal that led to her release from jail last month, to ask only about conversations with Libby.

It is not known precisely what Libby has told the grand jury. A source close to the Cheney aide has said that Libby did acknowledge discussing Wilson's wife with Miller but that he never knew Plame's name or her covert status.

The probe was triggered after syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak wrote on July 14, 2003, that "two senior administration officials" had told him that Plame was a CIA operative who had helped arrange her husband's 2002 trip to Niger to investigate whether Iraq had sought to buy weapons-grade uranium there.

Miller says Fitzgerald asked her before the grand jury whether Libby ever indicated that Cheney had approved of Libby's interviews with her or was aware of them. The answer, she said, was no.

By Miller's account, Fitzgerald asked during her testimony "whether I thought Mr. Libby had tried to shape my testimony" through a letter he sent while she was in an Alexandria jail. In the letter, Libby urged Miller to accept his waiver of the confidentiality she had promised him after initially rejecting such an offer as not fully voluntary.

"The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me," Libby wrote. Miller said she testified that the wording surprised her "because it might be perceived as an effort by Mr. Libby to suggest that I, too, would say we had not discussed Ms. Plame's identity. Yet my notes suggested that we had discussed her job."

Times Executive Editor Bill Keller was quoted as saying: "Judy believed Libby was afraid of her testimony. She thought Libby had reason to be afraid of her testimony."

In retrospect, Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. told the paper, "Maybe a deal was possible earlier. . . . If so, shame on us. I tend to think not."

The article and accompanying first-person piece by Miller, posted online yesterday and published in today's editions, contain conflicting accounts of why Miller never wrote a story about the outing of Plame. Miller told her newspaper that she "made a strong recommendation to my editor" that a story be pursued but "was told no." She would not identify the editor. Managing Editor Jill Abramson, the Washington bureau chief at the time, said Miller never made any such recommendation.

Another possible conflict between Miller and the Times involves a Post report in fall 2003 that "two top White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to at least six Washington journalists." Philip Taubman, who succeeded Abramson as Washington bureau chief, said he asked Miller whether she was among the six, which she denied. Miller told him the subject of Wilson and his wife had come up in casual conversation with government officials, Taubman said, and "she had not been at the receiving end of a concerted effort, a deliberate organized effort to put out information."

One journalistic issue involves what Miller describes as her agreement to modify her description of Libby as a "senior administration official" when it came to information about Libby. Miller said she agreed to describe Libby only as a "former Hill staffer," which is technically accurate because he once worked on Capitol Hill.

The publication follows weeks of criticism of the Times for failing to tell the full story of its reporter's involvement. Keller said in a statement that "no other reporter drawn into this investigation has provided such a detailed report. We're relieved that we can finally put this story in the hands of our readers, who will draw their own conclusions." Times editors would not comment further, a spokeswoman said.

Miller, a Pulitzer Prize winner, says she went to see Libby in June 2003 as part of a team effort to examine why no illegal weapons were found in Iraq. Libby, she said, wanted to talk about Wilson's mission to Niger.

In agreeing to testify, Miller acknowledged in the Times account, she was worried about the prospect of spending many more months in jail. She said she decided to accept Libby's waiver after receiving his letter and asking him in a phone conversation: "Do you really want me to testify? Are you sure you really want me to testify?" Libby's reply was something like "absolutely," Miller said.

Miller's attorney Abrams and Times Co. lawyer George Freeman told the paper they worried that Miller's decision to testify would prompt observers to say the newspaper had caved in.

One unusual aspect of the Times account is that it acknowledges what a controversial figure Miller, 57, has been at the paper. One former editor, Douglas Frantz, said Miller once called herself "Miss Run Amok" and said it meant "I can do whatever I want."

Her reputation suffered a "blow," the Times acknowledged, after some of her stories on whether Saddam Hussein harbored illegal weapons did not pan out. "I told her there was unease, discomfort, unhappiness over some of the coverage," said Roger Cohen, the foreign editor at the time. Miller conceded that "I got it totally wrong" but blamed the misinformation on her sources.

Miller would not allow the Times reporters to review her notes and would not discuss her interactions with editors, the article said.

To a remarkable degree, Miller was calling the shots on dealing with Fitzgerald's inquiry. Keller and Sulzberger both told the paper that they did not press Miller for details of her conversations with Libby or ask to see her notes while battling Fitzgerald's subpoena in the courts.

Even after other news organizations disclosed that Libby was Miller's source, Times editors did not publish his name, discouraged some story suggestions by reporters and killed an article about Libby's role in the high-profile case.

The case, which cost the Times millions of dollars in legal fees, so constrained its coverage that the paper did not name Libby as Miller's source until well after other news organizations did. Keller said he largely ceded supervision of the story to managing editor Abramson because "it was just too awkward" for him while enmeshed in meetings about the paper's defense of Miller.

Asked what she regretted about the Times' handling of the matter, Abramson told the paper: "The entire thing."

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