Sunday, October 16, 2005

"I have no recollection of that, Senator."

The title of this blog is a line out of the movie "Clear and Present Danger" based off the novel by Tom Clancy. In it, the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations, Ritter, has been confronted by the story's main character, Jack Ryan, over a clandestine military operation that was currently in progress. When Ritter reveals that Ryan's own testimony before Congress had procured the funding for the op, he suggests that Ryan start practicing that line in preparation for the Senate hearings that will assuredly come. It's the ultimate example of our vision of the corrupt government - they're caught and they know it so they lie like rugs under oath. The fact that it sounds to even the untrained ear like it's a dodge is of no concern to the Washington insiders. In the story, Ryan doesn't stick to the script Ritter's laid out for him and manages to retain his honor, defuse the situation and put the supposedly "safe" politicans back on the coals where they belong.

I've kind of adopted that line as a joke in my family. When an "uncomfortable" question comes up, I give them the shifty-eyed look, set my face in that Senate-hearing-stone expression, and deliver the line. It's synonymous with "yeah, you caught me but I ain't admittin' nothin'!"

So, along comes Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who went to jail for 3 months rather than comply with a grand jury order to name the source that told her about supposedly-covert Valerie Wilson nee Plame. She was adamant that she would not reveal her source. So after all the smoke screen about Scooter Libby and all the implications of Cheney and Rove and God knows who else, she's got a new answer for who "leaked" the info to her. She "can't recall."

::::::::In a first-person account released Saturday on The Times' Web site, Miller recounted her recent grand jury testimony, which focused on her conversations in 2003 with Cheney's closest aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Miller said she "didn't think" she heard covert CIA officer Valerie Plame's name from Libby. "I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall."::::::::

Do I get this right? She refuses to reveal the identity of a person she "can't recall" to the point of going to jail?

Right. Translation: "yeah, you caught me but I ain't admittin' nothin'!"