There you go again, Judy
Turns out Judy Miller suffers from an uncontrollable urge to wallow in the shallow end of the ethics pool. Her latest eyebrow-raising adventure in bad journalism concerns her involvement in the interrogation by Israeli soldiers of Muhammad Salah, a naturalized U.S. citizen, who is currently facing charges for conspiring to funnel money to Hamas. Turns out little Judy was present at his questioning -- or torture, according to his defense lawyer -- and told the Sun Times back in 1988, "Salah did not appear to be a man under duress when questioned and that she believed his recanted statements."
Why is this situation troubling, let Attytood count the ways:
It's bizarre and pretty much unheard of for a journalist to witness an interrogation -- just like it's equally odd and even more rare for a reporter to receive a security clearance from the Pentagon. But Miller has talked very openly about watching the questioning of Salah, who she says was not mistreated. She talked about it on "60 Minutes" with Steve Croft, she wrote about it in her book, "God Has Ninety-Nine Names: Reporting From a Militant Middle East," and has answered questions from Chicago reporters about it.
But there was one place that Judith Miller did not talk about witnessing Salah's interrogation. That would be in the New York Times -- even though she published a story about Salah's alleged ties to funding terrorism on Feb. 17, 1993, just six short days after watching the questioning of the prisoner.
What she did write is troubling. The article frequently mentions his grilling by Israeli authorities -- but always attributing the information to "Israeli officials" or, in one case, to what she describes as "to notes of the interrogations provided by them." She did not write in the New York Times about anything she saw first-hand on Feb. 11, 1993, even though the push for her to be present reportedly came from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin himself. [LINK thanks to David Addams]Then again this is a woman who can't even get her own byline right:
Ms. MillerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own account of her grand-jury testimony about the leaking of C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame WilsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s identity was actually co-written with investigative reporter David Barstow, who is perceived in the newsroom as one of Ms. MillerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s allies. Mr. Barstow didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t receive a byline or any other mention of his work in the paper. [LINK]