Not getting it

Can somebody please explain to me what’s so all-fired significant about Judith Miller? She’s all the leftwing blogs have talked about for the last week, to the point that their obsession with her has drowned out some truly important things, such as the Iraq constitutional referendum and Game 5 of the NLCS. And there was some important news to report on Iraq, chiefly the absence of significant terrorist activity on polling day.

Judith Miller is just some reporter who happened to get tipped-off that Joe Wilson was selected to go drink tea in a hotel room in Niger for a week while asking people if they wanted to confess to committing any felonies because he had a nepotism connection in the CIA. His mission was silly, his handling of it was silly (clue: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence), so his selection had to be silly.

In the course of communicating the nepotism angle to reporters, some Administration officials may have inadvertently run afoul of some arcane law owing to Plame’s long-ago status as a covert agent, so in the end what we have here is more a Comedy of Errors than an evil Neocon plot to undermine the security of the republic. The leftwing obsession with a story that’s obviously technicality and small potatoes simply undermines their credibility with the voting public.

The media are clearly fascinated by Miller because she’s one of them, and one with a number of enemies because she hasn’t always toed the approved Bush-hating line that’s expected of elite journalists, but the rest of us don’t have that excuse. And one sad consequence of this great Miller pile-on is the complete marginalization of America’s Mom, Cindy Sheehan, who just got a new car, and the world’s leading intellectual, the grammarian Noam Chomsky, who just won a poll.

It’s all very sad.

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23 Responses to Not getting it

  1. John K. says:

    Judith Miller is important for several reasons:

    1. The opus “apologia” published by the Times highlights the fact that the NY Times isn’t a “liberal” paper, but a “power sucking up to” paper.

    2. Judith Miller was possibly witness to a crime, not a first ammendment martyr.

    3. Judith Miller may have been given a security clearance, and possibly therefore we can assume access to classified material to which she did not have a need to know.

    You might want to neglect that these are issues, but some of us are still concerned with the rule of law in this country, not the criminality of conservatism (hey, that’s your side’s talking point, not mine).

  2. Richard says:

    Frankly, that’s a load of hooey. That the New York Times is a liberal paper is so obvious that it doesn’t warrant discussion, and the rest of your comment is rank speculation without the thinnest evidence and topped a scurrilous slander.

    And at the root of it all is a completely unimportant event, the blowing of a non-existent cover. The technicalities may abound, but without an important action at the center of it all they amount to nothing, which was my point.

  3. Steven says:

    I disagree with your point. While you may assert that Ms. Plame/Wilson had a non-existent cover, it appears that others in a better position to know (the CIA who filed the referral in the first place, the Justice Dept which appointed a special prosecutor and the several federal court judges who have been involved in the case to date) believe otherwise. Now it may turn out that no one in the Administration broke any laws concerning the disclosure of Ms. Plame’s status. At this point, however, I don’t think that merely asserting that Ms. Plame had a “non-existent cover” is a reasonable position.

  4. Richard says:

    Right, Plame was a secret agent who sat behind a desk at Langley every day, commuted to work by car, and walked into the office through the front door. Whether her department was technically covert or overt, this is clearly not Sydney Bristow we’re talking about.

  5. Jim Treacher says:

    More like Miss Moneypenny.

  6. Sigivald says:

    The only thing I can think of in Wilson’s favor, is that he did manage to find out that Iraq had probably (in the assessment of the Nigerian official who told him) attempted to buy uranium. (Of course, Wilson then lied about that to the media, but he did tell the CIA, at least.)

    On the other hand, I’m confused about your assertion that he was trying to get people to confess to felonies; I suspect neither of us knows anything about the Nigerian criminal code (but I also suspect that nobody in Nigeria would much worry about being prosecuted in Nigeria for telling Joe Wilson something), and I don’t think the US pretends its laws about selling stuff to Iraq apply to foreign nationals in other nations.

  7. Dr. Weevil says:

    Niger and Nigeria are different countries. To avoid confusion, people from Niger are called Nigeriens, not Nigerians. (It’s the French form of the same word, and Niger was a French colony.) So the Nigerian criminal code has nothing to do with it.

  8. John K. says:

    Let’s try it one more time: We know that the identity of Valerie Plame as an employee of the CIA was a secret; we know that July Miller was in effect working as a “propaganda embed” for the administration, and there are indications that Libby attempted at the very least witness tampering, and that Karl Rove leaked his name to at least 2 reporters.

    How many indictments this will bring of course nobody knows, but the serious money at this point is on more than a couple.

    But nobody – nobody at this point is raising the question of whether only the Intelligence Identities Protection Act was violated; other possible laws violated include but may not be limited to perjury, obstruction of justice, and the espionage act.

    The last one should be particularly worrysome for Rove; that’s what the guys associated with AIPAC were charged with, and it carries heavy prison time.

  9. Richard says:

    That’s more wild speculation, John, as you don’t *know* what you think you know. Fitzgerald should be about done now, so we’ll see what he has to say.

    In any case, these alleged charges still amount to nothing more than technical violations, they’re nothing substantial that compromised an active agent or an active operation.

  10. Richard says:

    Sigi, I used the term “felony” to denote a serious crime, which smuggling uranium would certainly be.

  11. John K. says:

    “Technical violations?” Sorry, but this was an action that evidently compromised other classified work from what we know; it destroyed a person’s career. Moreover, I’m sure you wouldn’t like to be hauled in front of a grand jury as a witness on these “technical violations,” let alone indicted. I know I wouldn’t.

    And I’d add, none of what I wrote above was a “speculation” either- it’s all been reported in reputable sources, and, in the intervening time, none of it has been retracted.

    Yesterday, the NY Daily News reported that Bush knew Rove was involved fairly early on – well before the 2004 election. And Bush kept Rove on staff, for reasons which are obvious.

  12. Richard says:

    Yes, technical violations are alleged that affected no actual operations and no actual covert operatives.

  13. Steven says:

    And you know that no actual operations and no actual covert operatives were affected because…?

  14. Richard says:

    Because she had been retired from covert ops for five years, more or less.

  15. Mumon says:

    And you know that because…?

  16. Richard says:

    I know that because she had been stationed at Langley for the past five years, and the CIA isn’t allowed to do covert ops in the US. You can look it up.

    But this controversy illustrates something fundamental to the American malaise: we have one-party rule because the Democratic Party has been captured by a passel of moonbats who are far out of sync with the American people. Unable to seize power at the polls due to the dreadfulness of the ideology, Democrats hope to defeat the Republicans in court. This is what happens when you cozy-up to the likes of Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan.

  17. Mumon says:

    she had been stationed at Langley for the past five years, and the CIA isn’t allowed to do covert ops in the US…

    Being stationed in the US doesn’t mean she isn’t doing covert ops outside the US.

    I’m sure you know better than the CIA who was in charge of determing her relationship to the agency was a secret-with-a-capital-s (S), and was referred to as such in official communications.

    we have one-party rule because the Democratic Party has been captured by a passel of moonbats…

    We don’t have one party rule, except to some extent at the national level, and that, of course is because certain issues were demagogued by the Repubs. The voters have figured this out, and that’s why the current party regime is one of the most unpopular in recent memory.

    The really fundamental thing on the “American malaise” is the fact that -as even Mehlman now admits- conservatism is criminality. If the Repubs didn’t put up criminals for election, they wouldn’t have to get indicted, tried, convicted and punished.

  18. Richard says:

    We need look no further than the remark: “conservatism is criminality” in order to establish a good working definition of moonbattery.

    Republicans run the country because there is a center-right majority in this country, and Democrats are too busy making idiotic remarks such as this one to reach out and establish themselves as a credible alternative.

    And BTW, Sandy Berger wasn’t just charged, he was convicted of violating the secrets act.

  19. Mumon says:


    We need look no further than the remark: “conservatism is criminality” in order to establish a good working definition of moonbattery

    That’s Ken Mehlman’s talking point (repeated here, and here; we’re too uncreative to have thought of it.

    Much as I’d like the progressives to take credit for equating conservatism with criminality, it actually, uh, comes from conservatives.

    I personally think there are indeed in this country well-meaning people of conservative political and social tendencies. But it was the folks in the Republican party that first made the connection, and since their leadership is indeed rife with people who are being investigated or have already been charged with felonies (did ya like DeLay’s mugshot today?) I can’t help but say that the Republican party’s characterization is indeed apt.

    Your “center-right” majority – ah, heck the overwhelming majority of ALL Americans disapproves of the performance of these criminal-conservatives.

    But don’t blame us for moonbattery. Blame folks like Mehlman, and Kristol and those clowns who came up with the Ronnie Earle attack dog ad. It’s their meme, not mine our the left’s.

  20. Richard says:

    The fact that guys like Ronnie Earle are trying to make conservatism a crime doesn’t mean they’ve succeeded.

    Have a drink of water and lie down for a while, and maybe your delusions will pass.

  21. John K. says:


    Ronnie Earle is going after money laundering and violations of the law. Now if you think that’s conservatism, you’ve made my point. 😉

  22. Richard says:

    Soft money/hard money swaps were totally legal and commonplace in 2002, and they aren’t remotely “money laundering”. And if they were, why hasn’t Martin Frost been indicted, because he did exactly the same thing?

    I know Ronnie Earle, I’ve met him and had green beer with him, and I lived in the jurisdiction he serves for 18 years. He’s a partisan hack and everybody of voting age in Travis County knows it.

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