Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sitting in the San Antonio Airport

I've been out this weekend with Mrs. F, down to the heart of Texas and enjoying a bit of a family reunion from her side of the tree in Borne, which is about a 30-minute drive north of San Antonio. I've been without any net access for the last three days, so I hooked up with the airport's wi-fi connection to catch up on the latest on the PlameGate saga (actually, anything would do to take my mind off the horrid smooth jazz that's being piped in here). There's a lot to digest, starting with the Judith Miller saga over at the NYTimes--here's the story as well as her own account of her grand jury testifyin'). There also seems to be a bit of a "hidden scandal" over part of her story, as noted by Editor and Publisher, regarding the granting of security clearance to her by the Department of Defense:

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.

As we get closer to V-I Day (Victory of Indictments), Time notes that Rove and Libby would most likely resign if (and again, the operable word is if) they were indicted:

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.

In other news... it's a Blue Day! Again! Yes, you'll be happy to know that Chelsea won yet again, extending their 9-0 unbeaten streak to begin the season with their 5-1 win over Bolton. There's Didier Drogba to the right, scorer of two goals along with two from Frank Lampard Jr. and one from Eidur Gudjohnsen.


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