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Why not Torture Judith Miller?

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    Why not Torture Judith Miller? by Mike Whitney http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10481.htm 10/01/05 ICH -- -- Let s see if I got this right?
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2005
      Why not Torture Judith Miller?
      by Mike Whitney

      10/01/05 "ICH" -- -- Let's see if I got this right?

      The New York Times star investigative reporter, Judith Miller, spent
      12 weeks in the hoosegow only to discover that she actually had
      permission to testify before the Federal grand jury the whole time?
      Is this what the Times means when they say that she had to confirm
      that she "finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver" from her
      source. (Ass. Chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby)

      Oh, so it was all just a big mistake?

      The facts, however, indicate that there may have been other factors
      that led to Miller changing her mind, including the prospect of
      spending another 60 days in the slammer. Apparently, her role
      of "martyr for the First amendment" has a shelf-life of about 12
      weeks after which she returns to her day-job of dissembling pawn for
      the ruling party.

      Miller's sudden "change-of-heart" hasn't dulled the Times' appetite
      for singing her praises. According to them she is still the
      undisputed champion of free speech ("No newspaper reporter has ever
      spent so much time in custody to defend the right to protect
      confidential sources.") and the unfortunate victim of an unfair law.
      In a circuitous and lawyerly defense of Miller, the Times asks why
      her source (Libby) didn't simply make a public statement that would
      have excused her from any obligation to withhold information. That's
      logical enough; and that's the way these things normally go down.

      Not according to the editors of the Times:

      "We believe the person in the best position to judge when a source
      is sincerely waiving promises of confidentiality is the reporter who
      made the guarantee. She has won the right to that confidence with
      three months' stay in a tough jail."

      In other words, Miller has earned the right to go from Rosa Parks
      (the Times description) to a common stool-pigeon without explanation
      and while still upholding the highest standards of the Times'
      editorial staff. Now, that is an impressive transformation!

      The Times' hypocrisy is incidental compared to the inequities of a
      system that protects criminals like Miller while dispatching Muslims
      to Guantanamo for lesser offenses. By any measure, Miller's
      withholding of evidence posed a direct threat to national security.
      Whoever leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the press knew that
      her "outing" would put covert operations and CIA agents working in
      the field at direct risk. It's clear that Miller knows who that
      person is and is acting as their accomplice by refusing to reveal
      his name.

      So far, the Bush administration has consistently suspended the civil
      liberties of anyone who is even remotely considered a risk to
      national security. Moreover, the president has repeatedly claimed
      the authority to do "whatever is necessary to guarantee the safety
      of the American people", even if that involves rescinding the Bill
      of Rights. This is the rationale that underscores the war on terror.

      So, what's difference here?

      By Bush's logic, Miller should have been trundled off to a secret
      location where she could have been beaten and abused until she
      provided the information required by the grand jury. She should have
      been intimidated by snarling guard-dogs and fitted for a leash so
      she could be photographed prostrate on the floor of her cell by fun-
      loving interrogators from private security firms.

      Imagine the public outcry if Miller appeared on the front page of
      the Times standing stock-still, bound and hooded, while the impish
      Lynndie England pointed at her genitals; or, if she was draped in
      sackcloth and propped up on a packing crate with electrical wiring
      draped from her hands and feet.

      Is that what it will take to wake people up to the horrors of the
      current system?

      Miller was a key-player in fabricating the information that plunged
      the country into the worst disaster in American history. Still, she
      is entitled to every benefit provided under the law. The inmates of
      Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Bush's other gulags deserve that very
      same consideration.



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