Roundup: 'Stressed' Miller takes stand in CIA leak trial

John Byrne
Published: Tuesday January 30, 2007
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Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller was "stressed out" as she took the stand in the CIA leak trial Tuesday, contradicting statements by Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, who said he first learned of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity from another reporter.

AP: "Miller testified Tuesday that Libby discussed the CIA officer on June 3, 2003. He said Wilson’s wife worked for the 'bureau,' Miller recalled. She was confused about that at first, she said. 'Through the context of the discussion, I quickly determined it to be the CIA,' she testified."

Firedoglake, which has been covering the CIA leak trial closely, is in the courtroom now. "This is not the picture of someone who is relaxed," blogger emptywheel notes.

It "looks like she's doing breathing exercises, pouring herself water. Got out of chair and is now back," adds emptywheel. "Gets more water... Looking around cautiously. Closes eyes. Breathes. Breathes out. Looking straight forward. Head darts nervously. Staring forward. Shifts in chair. Looks toward Libby's team? Looks toward lawyers. Adjusts blouse. Looks at lawyers again. Looks down, folds arms. Looks down. Looks toward Libby's team. Folds arms, leans back, turning in swivel chair. Takes glasses off. Looks for tissue to wipe her hands."

Earlier today, Cheney's personal lawyer said Libby told him "I didn't do it" – referring to the CIA leak – without even being asked.

On MSNBC, David Shuster is in the courtroom. RAW STORY's David Edwards filed this rush transcript: "[Today's testimony is] fascinating on two levels. First of all, not only relating to Scooter Libby but we've also gotten another glimpse about the Administration's view of intelligence before the war with Iraq. Judy Miller was testifying about conversations she had with Scooter Libby after the war had begun, she said that Scooter Libby was saying that the CIA had been unequivocal in their belief before the war that Iraq, was in fact, seeking uranium from Niger. That Iraq was trying to expand its nuclear program. That's striking because a lot of people have suspected that maybe their were dissenting views but what is coming out in the testimony is that the office of the Vice President... those dissenting views were not presented to the office of the Vice President or the Office of the Vice President chose to not look for any dissenting views about the idea that Iraq was seeking to expand its nuclear program. Some very interesting testimony on sort of the big picture about the war in Iraq."

"On the specific issue of Scooter Libby and whether or not he lied when he said he learned about a CIA operative from NBC's Tim Russert on July the 10th 2003. Judy Miller testified in the last hour that there were two conversations that she had with Scooter Libby – before that date – when she said she heard from Scooter Libby talking about Joe Wilson and Valerie Wilson, and Valerie Wilson worked at the counter-proliferation division at the CIA. Once again, this bolsters the prosecution argument that after the criminal investigation into the leak began, Scooter Libby told investigators and told the grand jury, he only first learned about the CIA operative from reporters in July. The prosecution is again introducing yet another witness who is saying that Libby was talking about that same Valerie Wilson before Libby's conversations with reporters."

emptywheel also catches a particularly amusing anecdote. During questioning, Miller says she didn't read her own newspaper – the New York Times – despite the fact she was one of the paper's star reporters.

Did you read your own paper? Miller was asked.

"Not particularly," she said. "I read the competition."