Friday, July 29, 2005

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. - button man

This Wall Street Journal chronology, written by Laurie P. Cohen, Joe Hagan and Anne Marie Squeo, details the fork-in-the-road that Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper faced with their shared attorney, Floyd Abrams. That divergence of interest was due to bad blood between Miller and prosecutor Fitzgerald from an earlier case where Miller wrote a story that caused the wheels to come off of a Fitzgerald investigation. Also, Miller and her boss, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the chairman and publisher of the Times, had quite publicly declared their opposition to the waivers to disclose information offered by government sources. The Times position was that these waivers were obtained under coercion and were therefore useless. Matt Cooper was relying on just such a waiver.

In addition to that, Time and The Times were using Abrams to defend the corporations' interests. But those interests diverged also. Time Magazine had possession of all of Cooper's notes in an electronic file and was therefore subject to Fitzgerald's subpoena. The New York Times had never seen Miller's notes and therefore was not subject to the subpoena. So, Time magazine replaced Mr. Abrams, delivered Cooper's notes, and Judy Miller went to jail.

The WSJ then relates something that I had not heard before,
The Time reporter (Cooper) wrote in his recent first-person account that he couldn't recall whether he first learned her name by reading Mr. Novak's column or from doing research on the Google Web site.
Huh? I thought that Cooper has said that Karl Rove gave him Valerie Plame's name. That's why all the squealing from the lefties for Rove's head. What is detailed here is that Cooper's notes say that Rove told Cooper,
"it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip."
So Rove, according to the notes, told Cooper that Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA on WMD issues. Then Cooper found her name either through a Google search or by reading Robert Novak's column.

And the button man?
With Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper potentially facing civil-contempt findings and jail in the Plame investigation, Mr. Pearlstine spoke with Mr. Sulzberger, the chairman and publisher of the Times. Mr. Pearlstine says that Mr. Sulzberger suggested they offer buttons to employees of their organizations declaring, "Free Judy, Free Matt, Free Speech." Mr. Pearlstine demurred.
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