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18 October 2005


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I agree completely. Once you sign the paper, you agree to keep officially designated secrets secret, and this is a fundamental conflict with the role of a real journalist.

While we're on the subject of security clearances, I am appalled at the theme that leaking classified information is not a "real crime" because "it is done all the time". I don't know a single person with a clearance who doesn't regard this as a crime and a betrayal of trust.

Serving Patriot


With this quote you nail it exactly:
"How many more "Millers" are there?"

I bet Frank Church is spinning in his grave about now.



How many Millers are there?

One wonders when the MSM has not really touched on this story, though the pieces keep coming out.



Pat, Judith Miller was a SOURCE for Rumsfeld and MET Alpha, only in a secondary position was she a journalist covering them.

I have tried to catch that here:

Miller had a rushed-through Secret clearance. But not as a reporter. Rumsfeld needed her on he ground.

And of course there are more "reporters", many more.

Michael Murry

I completely reject any notion that the Government of the United States has too few secrets or that the people of the United States have too much information. Precisely the opposite. The more the people know, the fewer opportunities their government has to deceive them. The truth never hurts as much as lies.

It would surprise me greatly to discover if anyone currently working for the United States Government knows anything at all worth knowing. I get all my important information elsewhere. Our bungling bureaucrats -- especially those at the "highest" levels -- seem to spend most of their time on our dime spreading malicious, back-stabbing office gossip "classified" only to impress their bosses or credulous suck-up sycophants like Judith Miller and David Broder, et al.

I share this information, of course, only on the condition that you regard it as "hush-hush," "on the Q-T," and "strictly need-to-know super-duper secret background" supplied to you by one whom you may only obliquely refer to as "a former elementary school student."

Some Guy

I wonder if the investigation into Armstrong Williams' propoganda payment will open a can of worms? He evidently is under investigation for non-compliance, as in he was paid but did not deliver (at least as much as he was paid for). If true, it might offer a window into other efforts to secure cooperation from journalists. All complete speculation, but it will be interesting to see what happens with that.

As for Miller, I expect her to find a cushy gig on FOX once she has officially severed ties from NYT and published her apologia book.


More commentary.

(This whole Judy thing is very strange. The plot and lies are so thick.)


NEW YORK Since the posting of The New York Times lengthy article on Judith Miller's involvement in the Plame scandal Saturday, much of the Web has been abuzz with the revelation that she had some sort of special classified status while embedded with troops in Iraq at one point.

The issue came to the fore after Miller, in recounting her grand jury testimony, wrote about how her former classified status figured in her discussions with I. Lewis Libby. She was even pressed by the prosecutor on this matter.

E&P columnist William E. Jackson Jr., had first raised this issue in a 2003 column published on E&P's Web site. On Sunday, former CBS national security correspondent Bill Lynch posted his views in a long letter about it at the Romenesko site at poynter.org. Here is the letter:


Judith Miller was a SOURCE for Rumsfeld and MET Alpha, ~~~ only in a secondary position was she a journalist covering them.
Posted by: b | 18 October 2005 at 05:01 PM ~~~

that operation wasn't exactly trivial right? what sort of clearance does Judy need to tag along in that unit? Plus why such team has a reporter in it? (It's not exactly action pack crew. It's mostly research and expedition type. So obviously Miller is there in the hope she will report there is WMD, instead of her reporting military in action. or to put it simply, she is the propaganda gal ready to report WMD. Somebody is putting her there.)

Who gave her permission to be in there? How high up? What sort of clearance did she have at that time? Does she still have it?


Speaking as someone who once conducted background investigations as part of their military duties, I find it impossible to believe that a reporter could have been granted any normal sort of clearance, SECRET or above. It would have had to have been granted without a BI, as that would have required interviewing her co-workers and acquaintances, etc., etc., and that would be impossible to keep quiet in the this situation (unless the only co-worker they interviewed was Pinch Sulzberger...?). A clearance granted by an adjudicating authority without a BI? How could you ever justify that if it ever came out??? Can't imagine it happening, but maybe Colonel Lang has a different take?

My take is that Judy, Judy, Judy and her endless ego chose to interpret her "special access" understanding with Rumsfeld, Feith, Bolton, whomever and whatever, as a "clearance", but this was true only in her fantasies....?

Joe McGuire

Security clearance issues aside, it is indeed troubling that a NY Times reporter could be "used" by this Administration as its mouthpiece to beat the drum for WMDs. Giving her "access" really "bought" her. The "inside" info or scoops she got were, of course, simply part of building the phony story that would persuade a lot of us--me, too, unfortunately--to invade Iraq. But "laudering" them through the Times gave them a lot more credibility.


Ah! Another spook. Welcome.

You are right. She did not have a "security clearance" in the sense that you and I would understand the term under the law.

What she did have, as you say, was extraordinary ACCESS to classified information granted under the authority of someone at the politically appointed level of government.



The best entry looking at Judy's clearance from her writing.


I go into this in obssessive detail in my series on Judy. But based on her portrayal of 'Secret Squirrel' Yankee Fan and a few others, I'm fairly convinced the sources and methods Judy is hiding are details of veracity, not security. That is, Judy has clearance to report on staged stories. Her clearance is about reporting the details Rummy wants reported and hiding the really sketchy provenance for those stories. It has almost nothing to do with a real security clearance, with trying to prevent any info that would compromise national security from being released. (Although, this is probably more and more true of security clearances in BushCo--they're hiding their lies, not our vital truths.)

All this doesn't not definitively explain which side of the security clearance issue Judy comes down on. Perhaps she does have clearance, but getting it was contigent on Judy writing precisely the stories they wanted her to write, on never questioning the stories she was given. Or perhaps she doesn't have clearance at all. When you deal entirely in fictions, why would you need clearance?

One more thing. The nature of her embed suggests Rummy's personal involvement here. Is it possible he gave her "clearance" without going through the normal channels of clearing someone? That is, it possible her clearance isn't clearance at all, just Rummy's carte blanche to circulate classified information? Fitz seems to know a bit about Judy's clearance. I wonder if he knows how she got that clearance?


Latest update. (Miller is giving some weird explanation, that the clearance is really a type of NDA. Huh? Anybody understands this?)


Miller Clarifies Security Clearance Issue

NEW YORK -- New York Times reporter Judith Miller has addressed an issue that raised eyebrows in the journalism community: her statement that she had "clearance to see secret information" while covering the invasion of Iraq.

In a first-person piece last weekend, Miller wrote that because of that status, "I was not permitted to discuss with editors some of the more sensitive information about Iraq."

The statement led some to charge that the Times had allowed Miller to become compromised by the military.

But Miller told the paper for a story published Thursday that her "clearance" was akin to the routine nondisclosure form for all reporters "embedded" with military units, which she signed when she was deployed with the 75th Exploitation Task Force. The unit's job was to find weapons of mass destruction.


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