I have a hard time guessing what exactly Judith Miller knows, and why she is in jail. I still can not reconcile the Miller role in all of this, so, if you lean towards the “Rove Did It” camp, Kevin Drum might be closer to the truth than he realizes:
Here’s the latest spin from the White House: a lawyer involved in the Plame case says that Karl Rove did talk to Robert Novak about Valerie Plame, but only after Novak brought it up first! Today’s rather carefully orchestrated story claims that Novak called Rove and told him about Plame, after which Rove is alleged to have said innocently, “I heard that, too.”
And how is it that Rove was able to confirm Novak’s story? The Washington Post, working from the same source, says Rove heard it from a reporter. “I don’t think that he has a clear recollection,” the lawyer said. “He’s told [investigators] that he believes he may have heard it from a journalist.”
Well, maybe so. Maybe he heard it from Judith Miller. Who knows?
That would make a great deal of sense, if true and if Rove really is behind all of this. Miller had been a reporter many on the left view as little more than a flak for the administration, and her reliance on Ahmad Chalabi and frequent (as the left describe it) parroting of administration talking points are pointed to as evidence. Thus, this possible scenario:
Rove learns about Plame. He starts with a friendly reporter (Miller), and starts the Plame bit. Either he gave the name, or Miller finds it out on her own. Miller tells Novak about this, and Novak contacts Rove.
Seems feasible. This could also incorporate the Toensing ‘Martha Stewart’ theory, in that Fitzgerald thnks Rove has perjured himself in the Grand Jury. Miller is taking the hit to keep Rove out of trouble on the leak issue, but Fitzgerald is on to the perjury and what is going on between the two. In other words, Miller is protecting Rove, and Novak is playing things straight. The only problem is that Novak claims his first source was from someone he stated was an administration source, and if the reports today are to be believed, someone who is not a ‘partisan gunslinger.’
Also possible is that Libby or someone else was the one who spoke to Miller, Miller spoke to Novak, Novak to Rove (who confirmed it), etc.
One thing is clear- the left seems to be rejecting the “Novak told Rove” defense pretty uniformly:
So suddenly Plamegate — which no one at the White House will talk about on the record, because it might get them indicted . . . I mean, because it might compromise Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation — has sprung a whole shitload of leaks.
And whaddya know! They’ve all appeared on the same day (document dump Friday, no less), they all help shore up Karl Rove’s alibi, and they all seem to have come from either Justice Department officials who’ve been “briefed” on case, or from attorneys who are very familiar with Karl Rove’s defense.
Funny how that works.