COVERING NOTE FROM TRUTHOUT.ORG EDITOR: The Valerie Plame affair began with first hand accounts by Plame's husband, Joe Wilson, which contradicted key Bush administration arguments for invading Iraq. Judith Miller was an ardent subscriber to the Bush administration's rationale for the invasion. Most, if not all, of Miller's assertions about the need to invade Iraq have proven false. Accordingly, Truthout cannot vouch for the accuracy of any of Miller's statements below. Our editorial staff does not understand how an experienced reporter could fail to remember her source. – marc ash
My Four Hours Testifying in the Federal Grand Jury Room
By Judith Miller
The New York Times
Sunday 16 October 2005
Mr. Fitzgerald asked me to read the final three paragraphs aloud to the grand jury. "The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me," Mr. Libby wrote. The prosecutor asked my reaction to those words. I replied that this portion of the letter had surprised me 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.
In July 2003, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador, created a firestorm by publishing an essay in The New York Times that accused the Bush administration of using faulty intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. The administration, he charged, ignored findings of a secret mission he had undertaken for the Central Intelligence Agency - findings, he said, that undermined claims that Iraq was seeking uranium for a nuclear bomb.
It was the first time Mr. Wilson had gone public with his criticisms of the White House. Yet he had already become a focus of significant scrutiny at the highest levels of the Bush administration.
Almost two weeks earlier, in an interview with me on June 23, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, discussed Mr. Wilson's activities and placed blame for intelligence failures on the CIA. In later conversations with me, on July 8 and July 12, Mr. Libby, who is Mr. Cheney's top aide, played down the importance of Mr. Wilson's mission and questioned his performance.
My notes indicate that well before Mr. Wilson published his critique, Mr. Libby told me that Mr. Wilson's wife may have worked on unconventional weapons at the CIA.