Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bill Keller shits his bed 


What is Bill Keller doing here? He’s bluffing, and bluffing hard, and bluffing with shitty cards, and everyone can see his pathetic bluff.

[Judith Miller] is surrendering her liberty in defense of a greater liberty, granted to a free press by the founding fathers so journalists can work on behalf of the public without fear of regulation or retaliation from any branch of government….

By accepting her sentence, Ms. Miller bowed to the authority of the court. But she acted in the great tradition of civil disobedience that began with this nation's founding, which holds that the common good is best served in some instances by private citizens who are willing to defy a legal, but unjust or unwise, order.

This tradition stretches from the Boston Tea Party to the Underground Railroad, to the Americans who defied the McCarthy inquisitions and to the civil rights movement. It has called forth ordinary citizens, like Rosa Parks; government officials, like Daniel Ellsberg and Mark Felt; and statesmen, like Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King.

Are you fucking kidding me?

At the very best -- the very best! -- Miller cravenly abetted the Bush administration’s attempts to smear Joe Wilson and out Valerie Plame which, of course, is a felony.

At the worst -- for her, at least -- Miller herself was the one who outed Plame. The Washington Post has alluded to this possibility, and it’s entirely plausible, given the disparate pieces of this mystery.

Picture Judy, ardent Chalabi-loving, warmongering, neocon toadie, trolling the DC gossip circuit, looking for the juiciest morsels to discredit Joe Wilson’s discrediting of Bush’s (and her) war plan. She gets the scoop, and off she goes whispering to her colleagues in the press, and to her friends in the administration.

1. That way, she never has to write an article about the issue (which she didn’t), to get the job done, but she still ends up getting into hot water with Patrick Fitzgerald.

2. Karl Rove can spread the gossip without himself having to have been the source for it (he heard it from Judy and was just passing it along). Do you really think Rove could be so stupid as to do the leaking himself?

3. And Judy’s decision not to squeal and instead to serve her nominal time in jail -- hoping that after her 90 days or whatever of martyrdom, Fitzgerald will give up and not make her talk -- makes sense in light of the fact that her easy jail time would enable her to avoid the real jail time that would await her for a felony CIA-operative-outing conviction.

Keller says:

To be frank, this is far from an ideal case. We would not have wanted our reporter to give up her liberty over a situation whose details are so complicated and muddy.

“Complicated and muddy,” indeed. Frankly, Bill, we don’t even know who Judy talked to, what they said, what she said, what she did, or anything… so why is it nevertheless not too early to drag out the comparisons to the Underground Railroad, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and Jesus Christ?

What we do know is that if Ms. Miller testifies, it may be immeasurably harder in the future to persuade a frightened government employee to talk about malfeasance in high places, or a worried worker to reveal corporate crimes.

Who the fuck in this instance is the “frightened government employee [talking] about malfeasance in high places”?

Karl Rove? Scooter Libby?


This, at its best, is about a high-ranking government employee using his power to terrorize and intimidate, committing malfeasance in high places.

Keller, spare us your allusions to the Pentagon Papers and your quotes from James Madison on the liberty of the press.

You’re trying to bluff your way out of Miller’s borderline (or actual) criminal behavior in abetting the sliming of Valerie Plame … not to mention throwing yet another noxious smokescreen over her demonstrated dissembling and war-drum-beating over WMDs.

Journalists talk about these issues a great deal, and they can seem abstract. The test comes when a colleague is being marched off to jail for doing nothing more than the job our readers expected of her, and of the rest of us… We stand with Ms. Miller and thank her for taking on that fight for the rest of us.

Keller, you’re swimming so deep in your own shit you don’t know which way is up. If you honestly believe any word you wrote here, you’re lost, hopelessly, and “the rest of us” are, too.


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