"A very stupid thing to do"
WASHINGTON - New details about Judith Miller's decision to cooperate in the CIA leak probe are raising questions about whether Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and his defense lawyer tried to steer the New York Times reporter's testimony.
The dispute arose as the newspaper on Sunday detailed three conversations that Miller had with the Cheney aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in the summer of 2003 about Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson and Wilson's wife, covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.
In urging her to cooperate with prosecutors, Libby wrote Miller while she was still in jail in September: "I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all. ... The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me."
One of Miller's lawyers, Robert Bennett, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Libby's letter was "a very stupid thing to do."
"There's no question that, when you don't reveal something that appears to be material to an investigator initially, it raises questions in a prosecutor's mind and perhaps a grand juror's mind," said Joseph diGenova, a U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration.
A "very stupid thing to do" indeed.
How long before Libby joins a long list of folks thrown overboard in an attempt to save the higher ups in the Bush administration?