Judith Miller in Jail

Of all the reasons to throw Judith Miller in jail, that they had to choose one so bizarre.

Let me see if I get this straight. So, Judith Miller reproduces a bunch of Bush Administration lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, helping build the case for an invasion and occupation that has killed tens of thousands of people in the country’s most influential newspaper in the crucial period BEFORE the invasion.


Of all the reasons to throw Judith Miller in jail, that they had to choose one so bizarre.

Let me see if I get this straight. So, Judith Miller reproduces a bunch of Bush Administration lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, helping build the case for an invasion and occupation that has killed tens of thousands of people in the country’s most influential newspaper in the crucial period BEFORE the invasion.

A former Ambassador to Iraq named Joseph Wilson writes in the same newspaper – far too late to make any difference – that the case was made on ‘faulty intelligence’ (operating entirely within the elite parameters of discussion – the idea that it was ‘faulty intelligence’ as opposed to post hoc stuff presented after the decision to invade had long since been made).

A member of the Bush Administration ‘leaks’ the fact that Wilson’s wife is a CIA operative, as a way of getting back at him, and the story is published in a magazine (though not by Judith Miller). The CIA, of course, being an institution whose principal tasks over the past 60 or so years have been the violation of sovereignty of poor countries, the institutionalization of torture, displacement, massacre, and assassination, and of course the production and propagation of misinformation.

Then a US Court orders various journalists to reveal who ‘leaked’ this (though they don’t order the person who wrote and published the story to reveal it, but instead they ask Judith Miller).

And Judith Miller – who never wrote about any of the Wilson/CIA/Wilson’s wife stuff in the NYT – takes a stand on principle – to protect the Bush Administration source, who ‘leaked’ the CIA information as part of a smear campaign.

So the court throws her in jail?

Is it too simplistic to say ‘a plague on all their houses?’

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.

One thought on “Judith Miller in Jail”

  1. What’s REALLY upsetting is
    What’s REALLY upsetting is that she’s protecting the source, who tried to use her to punish someone who contradicted “evidence” that would send her country to war against another people. That is the most troubling aspect about this. Whoever she is protecting is not a source but a provocatuer — so Miller should be jailed for protecting him or her.

    Also, we don’t know if Novak testified. There’s a chance he was released from his anonymity responsibity by the source and he did testify early on — which raises a whole slew of other ?s. But I suspect he just gets a pass for years of service to conservatives, while Miller’s record there has been spotty (never better than the lead-up to Iraq, though).

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