only thing more evil, small-minded and treacherous than the Bush
administration's jailing Judith Miller for a crime the Bush administration
committed, is Judith Miller covering up for her Bush administration
Judy, Karl Rove ain't no "source." A confidential
source�and I've worked with many�is an insider ready to put himself on the line
to blow the whistle on an official lie or hidden danger. I would protect a
source's name with my life and fortune as would any journalist who's not a
craven jerk (the editor-in-chief of Time Magazine comes to mind).
But the weasel who whispered "Valerie Plame" in
Miller's ear was no source. Whether it was Karl Rove or some other Rove-tron
inside the Bush regime (and no one outside Bush's band would have had this
information), this was an official using his insider info to commit a crime for
the sole purpose of punishing a real whistleblower, former Ambassador
Joseph Wilson, Plame's husband, for questioning our president's mythological
premise for war in Iraq.
New York Times reporter Miller and her paper would rather
she go to prison for four months than identify their "source." Why?
Part of her oddball defense is that the Times never ran the
story about Wilson's wife. They get no points for that. The Times should
have run the story with the headline: BUSH OPERATIVE COMMITS FELONY TO PUNISH
WHISTLEBLOWER. The lead paragraph should have been, "Today, Mr. K�- R�-
[or other slime ball as appropriate] attempted to plant sensitive intelligence
information on The New York Times, a felony offense, in an attempt to harm
former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who challenged the President's claim regarding
Iraq's nuclear program."
A Karl Rove or Rove-like creature peddling a backdoor smear
doesn't make him a source. Miller's real crime is not concealing a source, but
burying the story. A reporter should never, ever give notes to a grand jury,
but this information is something the Times owes the public, not the prosecutors.
Why didn't the Times run this story? Why not now? Who are
they covering for and why?
Maybe the problem for the Times is that this is the same
"source" that used Miller to promote, as fact, her ersatz report
before the invasion of Iraq that Saddam truly had nukes and bugs and chemicals
he could launch at Los Angeles. That "source" too needs publication,
Every rule has an exception. My mama always told me to
"compliment the chef" at dinner. But that doesn't apply when the chef
pees in your soup. Likewise, there's an exception to the rule of source
protection. When officialdom uses "you-can't-use-my- name" to cover a
lie, the official is not a source, but a disinformation propagandist�and Miller
and the Times have been all too willing to play Izvestia to the Bush's
And that is what Miller is protecting: the evil called
The great poison in the corpus of American journalism is the
lust for tidbits of supposedly "inside" information which is more
often than not inside misinformation parading as hot news.
And thus we have Miller sucking on the steaming sewage pipe
of White House lies about Iraq and spitting it out in the pages of the Times as
"investigative reporting," for which the Times has apologized.
Likewise, we had the embarrassment of Bob Woodward's special access to the Oval
Office after the September 11 attacks, when Woodward reported the exclusive
news that the president was a flawless commander in chief in the war on
terror�for which Woodward has yet to apologize.
While reporting from the Potemkin village of decision-making
set up for him at the White House, Woodward missed the real story that, in the
words of the Downing Street memo, our leaders were losing track of Osama while
they spent their time "fixing the intelligence" on Iraq. Even if
Woodward learned of it, would he have reported it at the risk of losing his
access to evil?
As Karl Rove chuckles and Judy does time, we are left to
ask, What are Miller and The New York Times doing: protecting the name of a
source or covering up their conduit to the Bush gang's machinery of deception?
One can only be sympathetic to Miller for choosing jail over
bending to the power of the state. But as T.S. Eliot said,
"The last temptation is the
To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy
Money Can Buy." Subscribe to his commentaries or view his investigative
reports for BBC Television at www.GregPalast.com.