Drudgereport is featuring an email from the New York Times' Bill Keller to his employees regarding the Miller escapade. Since we know Keller didn't include Drudge's email addy in his addressee block, this story was leaked by someone. Funny, isn't leaking exactly why we're in this mess? But nevermind. The email was a pitiful attempt at CYA, and if I worked at the Times I'd be ashamed:
So it was a year before we got around to really dealing with the controversy. At that point, we published a long editors' note acknowledging the prewar journalistic lapses, and _ to my mind, at least as important _ we intensified aggressive reporting aimed at exposing the way bad or manipulated intelligence had fed the drive to war. (I'm thinking of our excellent investigation of those infamous aluminum tubes, the report on how the Iraqi National Congress recruited exiles to promote Saddam's WMD threat, our close look at the military's war-planning intelligence, and the dissection, one year later, of Colin Powell's U.N. case for the war, among other examples. The fact is sometimes overlooked that a lot of the best reporting on how this intel fiasco came about appeared in the NYT.)
So, it appears Keller is trying to say they missed a huge story about the war because they were busy with damage control over a fake reporter. Alrighty, then.
The BS-o-Meter spiked on this one. The Times had to know that Miller was a confidant of some uppitys in the White House, and not just the present adminstration. They had to know Libby was one source and they probably also knew she had a few others. For Keller this is about saving face and subscribers.
It's interesting that when the Times "forced" Miller to write her diary of grand jury testimony, she managed to do something interesting-- she became the mouthpiece for Libby. It allowed Libby to broach the theory that the CIA was out to get team Bush using the Plame leak and Wilson as bait.
So, let's look over what motives might exist for either the CIA, MSM, democrat party, and GOP to run a scam here.
MSM-- the MSM basically went along with the Clinton adminstration hook, line and sinker regards Iraqi WMD and Saddam's threat to the world. They rarely dug very deep into the veracity of the WMD reports, which was really the only major distraction from Monicagate during the 90s. Anyone remember this Sheila MacVicar report on ABC? Geez. So, along came Bush and his neocons, followed shortly by 9/11. Meanwhile, all their previous stories about mean ole Saddam were sitting there on the web waiting to be used against anyone who took a dovish turn. Backtracking and saying "well, he really wasn't that much of a threat" would laughingly expose their reporting as at best fluff, and at worse a partisan cover for a democrat president. But AC, the MSM isn't bias. Right.
CIA - they had their own leaky boat. Whether by laziness or other reasons, their intelligence on Iraq was horrid. They were nowhere near rigorous enough with the INC, Chalabi, and the ubiqitous "Curve Ball". Their coup failed in the mid 90s, and they were never able to get any assets deep into Saddam's braintrust. They sat there whistling Dixie while the UNSCOM inspectors were tossed out of the country, leaving them with nothing but polaroids to keep track of the Butcher's toys. Couple those grand items with the fact they completely missed 9/11, and that doesn't make for many smiley faces on the ole bulletin board.
Democrat Party -- they wanted their power back.
GOP - they didn't want a fiasco in Iraq to cause the above to occur.
So, they all had motive. But, who had the most? Libby was referring to in Miller's narrative when she quoted him saying:
As I told the grand jury, I recalled Mr. Libby's frustration and anger about what he called "selective leaking" by the C.I.A. and other agencies to distance themselves from what he recalled as their unequivocal prewar intelligence assessments. The selective leaks trying to shift blame to the White House, he told me, were part of a "perverted war" over the war in Iraq.
I recall that Mr. Libby was displeased with what he described as "selective leaking" by the C.I.A. He told me that the agency was engaged in a "hedging strategy" to protect itself in case no weapons were found in Iraq. "If we find it, fine, if not, we hedged," is how he described the strategy, my notes show.
This doesn't prove the CIA and MSM were in cahoots to "get" the Bushies, but it does make a compelling case for an outbreak of "CYA" perhaps larger than ever seen before inside the Beltway. Wilson's role perhaps had more to do with democrat-promotion than CYA. Perhaps more of a two birds with one stone affair?
Anywho, the Plame scandal remains the perfect political scandal. It features a complicated, hard to follow plot that keeps changing, is attractive only to hard core followers of politics, and has aspects of both national security and petty soap opera. Part of the perfection lies in the fact that both theright and left, with only a tiny leak every now and then from the Special Counsel, have BOTH convinced themselves they've solved the puzzle, and that their side is gonna win big as a result. How can everyone be correct? We'll soon find out.