Libby Live: Judy One
Ground rules: not a court reporter. Limit refreshes, but not refreshments. Shameless commerce: buy this.
Fitz in his seersucker-esque taking a drink of water, looking through his notes.
Here she comes. White shirt, big lapels. No glasses. Checks her counsel, puts glasses on (they're on a fancy string around her neck), is nodding. She doesn't seem like she's breathing.
Jury coming in.
She sits down, then stands up to take the oath.
Fitz, please state name, and spell last name.
M Judith Miller Freelance journalist.
F when did you first begin to work for NYT.
M 1977. SEC reporter, financial affairs, state department, Cairo bureau chief, Paris correspondant, dpty bureau chief, deputy media editor. special correspondant to gulf war. Then "freeranging investigative reporter."
F how did you first come to know Libby
M Coauthoring book on bioweapons. 2001
M William Broad, Steven Engelburg.
F How did your work on the book Germs come to bring you in contact with Libby.
M Engelburg said Libby was helpful.
F When met Libby
M I believe I called him and asked to see him.
F Approximate time frame
M Between 9/11 and beginning of Iraq war.
F Evventually meet
M In OEOB, said he had liked our book germs, had not received inscribed copy that others who had contributed had recieved,
F Did you send one
M He said that he had liked my reporting on WMD and terrorism to the US and I expressed a desire to interview him and talk to him on regular basis. When I was working on something on which he might be helpful. He said that would be fine, but would prefer not to see his name in print, we could continue to meet so long as I referred to him as AO or SAO.
F On the record, off the record, deep background.
M On the record, one could use material and could attribute to indiv. Background could use it, but could not name indiv, could name agency. Deep background, could use info but not identify agency or part of govt where indiv worked. Off the record, only if I confirmed it elsewhere.
M continued to talk to Libby, through Libby's assistant, never email.
M Take notes on steno notebook, try to write down what she or he says, then go back and underline or add things, sometimes I do that contemporaneouslyy. Then when notebook is full, I do an index on the front page, timing, and subject matter.
F How much of the writing in your notes when you were interviewing.
M Almost all is done contemporaneously.
F If you go back, when do you go back.
M depends on deadline.
F conventions when you make highlights or changes.
M Tend to use a different pen or pencil so I know which are contemporaneous and which after the fact.
F conventions of highlighting
M Underline important things Asterix, a box around important subject or topic, when I think theres something I know or need to ask, on back of preceeding page or in brackets.
F If they change topics.
M I draw a line
F If they change ground rules
M I note that in margin
F Early part of 2003. Overseas?
M WMD hunters, went in February, joined unit in March,
M Came back in June permanently, June 8
F easy access to newspapers from America
M No access
F Assignment following Iraq, either by your self or a team,
M A team or reporters looking into whether or not WMD had been flawed or distorted. Why they weren't being found.
F Who else
M Several reporters, I was supposed to write about actual hunt for WMD on ground in iraq and how and why flawed, and provide info for the other part of the project.
F You were going to focus on WMD but any info you'd get you'd provide to fellow reporters.
M I was surprised to see a great debate, a very angry one on whether or not WMD had been distorted or WH had lied.
F where was the anger directed
M At Admin, at media in particular, and me. [you think?!?!?!]
F Did there come a time when you met with Libby
M In OEOB, June 23. (Voice waivers)
M Mr. Libby appeared agitated and frustrated and angry
F HOw could you tell
M He's a lowkey and controlled guy, what he said made me think I was correct. He was concerned that CIA was beginning to backpdal to distance self from unequivocal estimates it provided before the war through a "perverted war of leaks."
F Did the topic of Joseph Wilson come up
F What do you recall was said
M His office had learned that he had been sent overseas, initially referred to as clandestine guy. VP had asked about a report in Winter 2002, in Africa, CIA hd sent Mr Wilson out to investigate claim.
F Was Libby saying VP sent WIlson
M the contrary. He said that VP did not know that Mr Wilson had been sent.
F What he said about Winter 2002 and how it related to trip.
M There had been reports, a report had gone up to the Hill indicating that Iraq hunting for uranium in Niger. VP had asked about those reporters, agency had taken upon itself to find out more. In the beginning he referred to Wilson as clandestine guy.
F Mr. Wilson's wife (voice not in gerat shape)
M Yes, when he was discussing intell reporting, he said his wife (referring to Wilson) worked in the bureau
F What did you understand bureau to mean
M I was a little unsure, My understanding was FBI, but the context it was clear he was referring to CIA
F Any particular bureau?
M I thought he was using bureau to refer to Nonproliferation burea, but I wasn't sure.
F How did you write it in notes
M In parentheses. He had mentioned it as an aside or because I was puzzled by it. I put a question mark about it.
M I can't be sure.
F any other discussion.
Judy slouches, looks at lawyers.
Big eyes, looking forward.
F Any other conversation about pres and WH and CIA?
M Yes, Mr Libby seemed really unhappy and irritated abotu the fact that he accused CIA of leaking info that would distance agency from earlier estimates. He said that nobody had ever come to WH from CIA and said Mr. Pres, this is not correct, this is not right. He thought if CIA had such doubts they should have shared them
F relevance to Wilson
M People were beginning to focus on Wilson, but Wilson was a ruse, an irrelevance
F Did you cover the area you were assigned to.
Walton Was he using Wilson's name
M First as a clandestine guy, then began talking about Joe Wilson by name
F Returning to conversation about the wife working in bureau, did he indicate whether he had heard it from reporters
M Yes. I was surprised by it. Because it was first time that someone who had purported to be part of collection mechanism, first time someone was publicly alleging that admin had lied or distorted info about WMD. It was a serious charge. Second thing that surprised me, I wondered how the CIA would have permitted him to write such an article attacking the president.
Now speaking with her hands.
M Or excuse me sir–or whether it had approved it.
F You met with Libby again
M July 8 at St Regis, in dining room. Mr Libby's choice. About 2 hours.
F Did Libby have papers
M piece of paper in pocket
F Single or more than one
M DOn't remember. Libby was frustrated, quietly agitated. more wideranging discussion about intell that admin had collected and Powell presentation.
F June 23 ground rules:
M Off the record
F At beginning of July 8
M No discussion at beginning of specific attributions
F Mr Wilson was discussed, did ground rules remain same
M Ground rules changed. Libby said, when we shifted into alleged efforts to acquire uranium, he wanted to be identified on deeper background and I think he said something like Former Hill staffer
F had you ever been asked by him before to treat him as Former Hill staffer
M Equally frustrated and unhappy
F what discussed. [Judy uncomfortable]
M SAid plenty of info before Powell presentation was given, supporting Iraq hunting uranium, it had been shown that IRaq HAD acquired uranium in Africa, prior to 1st gulf war, in 80s IAEA stated taht Iraq had acquired, after that several different reports that Iraq in market again for uranium. 2 reports, for a long-term arrangement for large quantities, and then a shorter term amount, then referred to anohter report, a third report, the arrival of a delegation in 1999 this delegation was seeking a broader trade relationship, since Niger only had one export, officials had concluded that Iraq was interested in uranium, Author of this report was Joe Wilson. The report had gone up to the Hill. Talking about info provided to Hill, which had prompted VP questions.
F Did he indicate who provided this report
F Discussion about Mr. Wilson's wife on this occasion.
M Two streams of reporting on uranium and efforst by Iraq to aquire uranium, first stream reports like Wilson, –then made an aside, Wilson's wife works at WINPAC Weapons Intelligence Nonproliferation and Arms Control, specifically focused on WMD.
F Before June 23, had you ever heard that Wilson's wife worked at CIA/
M Not before that meeting
F On July 8, any new info
M WINPAC was new
F Any discussion of covert or non-covert?
M Not that I remember no, No discussion whether she was classified or non-classified.
F Any discussion of learnign this from other newspaper reporters.
F discussion about NIE
M Defended NIE, based on reporting from many different sources He said classified version even stronger, it was not at all equivocal. Said if anything classified was stronger
F Any qualificatoin, any place where a doubt would be expressed
M Yes, didn't know classified or unclassified, said INR had expressed doubts about uranium hunting, alleged uranium hunting activities, had been included in appendix. What he was saying was that these doubts not prominently featured. He said policy makers had not seen them
F Did you take notes, anything particular about process
F Pen or pencil
M Used pen. The pen didn't work
F Did you talk to other people
M I think I did, as soon as I remember learning about Wilson's wife
M I don't remember who, I consulted my notes, references by initials and names, not tied to any interview in any notebook, can't remember whether it was before or after info became public.
F Did you speak to him again
M Wanted follow-up. We agreed to speak on phone, I recall less about that meeting. The first time Libby called me I was getting into a taxi, I couldn't take notes, Didn't want to talk in a taxi, spoke from home in Sag Harbor
F Did you take notes, have you reviewed those notes, clear memory of conversation
M Not very clearly–
F what do you remember
M I remember telling him that I didn't think I was going to write a story about it, the NYT wasn't interested in pursuing Plame story. We talked about retraction of 16 words. It was more following up on other two conversations. Don't have specific memory of other things
F saw Libby in person
M In Jackson Hole WY, at a rodeo, I went with my husband. This figure approached me, began talking to me, it became time to introduce husband, it became clearer I didn't know who it was. Judy, you don't know who this is, sunglasses, black t-shirt, cowboy boots. I had never seen him in any thing but a suit. Just some banter about meeting in Aspen. Meeting of Aspen startegy group. Topic had been lack of WMD in Iraq.
F A subpoena, what did you do in response
M I decided to fight the subpoena
F Where, who
M Judge Hogan, we lost effort to quash subpoena, we appealed, Federal Appellate court, our appeal was rejected, appealed to SCOTUS, SCOTUS declined to hear case. I returned to Hogan's chambers, he ordered me to comply, I told him I did not have a waiver from my source that I believed was person. I was held in contempt.
F You violated order of court
M I did not testify. I was sent to jail at Alexandria detention center, for 85 days. Shortly before I was released received waiver from Libby and oppty to question him on phone and you agreed to narrow focus of questioning to mr. Libby and to the subject matter of Plame Wilson leak.
F After released, what did you do
M Testfied before GJ, I testified the next day,
F Did you tell them about July 8 meeting, and phone conversations later that week, did you described June 23 meeting
M I did not, I didn't remember it.
F Were you asked to do anything
M You asked me, I couldn't pinpoint time of second meeting in Sag Harbor if I would check notebooks, to better place time.
F Did you do that
M I found, when I returned to my office, I looked under my desk there was a shopping bag full of my notebooks. Looked through July, picked up June, and discovered entire conversation in June, that I had forgotten about. I happened to be on phone with Bennett, urged him to call you and tell you there was more info
F Did you return to GJ and describe that conversation?
F Your pen wasn't working, did you take notes?
M I did
J this conversation that you described in such detail–when you first appeared, did you remember that at all, didn't remember a thing about it, Today you've described in great detail
M No, the highlights of it
J Something that refers to one entry about wife works in bureau
M Most of that meeting had to do wtih Mr Wilson and Niger (Drinks water)
J Do you recall that investigation began Late 2003
J Remember when Novak named Ms. Plame? Didn't you read articles and watch television reports?
M I remember that an investigation was opened.
J Did you tell Taubman at NYT that you had not been recipient of any calculated leak
M Later on, I told him that I had discussed Ms. Wilson, Ms. Plame, with people, but that I didn't think I was the target of concerted leak campaign, because I didn't know if there was one. (drinks more water, looks at lawyers, not breathing again)
J Do you recall writing a letter to MoDo? Do you recall writing that Taubman
M THen bureau chief, NYT bureau chief
J Do you recall him asking a group of reporters a question, do you recall him asking that question
J You were unaware that such a campaign existed?
J You never wrote anything about Wilson's wife. Did you recommend doing so
M To Washington Bureau Chief, Jill Abramson
J What is your recollection of your conversatoin
M Very short time after second meeting with Libby, closed the door, outlined some of the highlights, told her there was something I thought we ought to follow up on, you ought to have someone pursue this whether Joe Wilson's wife worked at agency. She was distracted. It was tumultuous period, Exec Ed had been fired, She just said mmhmmm.
M She's the managing editor in NY.
Walton Approach the bench please
I'll start the next thread.