How was the notebook found?

Judith Miller doesn’t tell, and the other reporters at the Times don’t ask.

From Judith Miller’s account:

I testified in Washington twice – most recently last Wednesday after finding a notebook in my office at The Times that contained my first interview with Mr. Libby.

Is that all you have to say, Ms. Miller? The implication is that the “finding” was unrelated to Miller’s earlier testimony, and that somehow in the period of more than a year since first receiving a subpoena Miller had managed to overlook the crucial notebook, sitting right there in her own office.

What an astonishing coincidence! Much harder to believe than, say, the Moustrap Theory.

No doubt Mr. Fitzgerald asked Ms. Miller about the provenance of the notebook. I wonder whether she told him and the grand jury the same story she’s telling the readers of the New York Times. If so, I don’t think Miss Manners would approve. It’s considered impolite to tell something other than the truth when under oath, and, if one is forced by circumstances into such a breach of etiquette, it’s considered good form at least to come up with a plausible lie. Otherwise one risks insulting the intelligence of the person or persons lied to, thus wounding their feelings.

Disappointingly, Dale van Natta and his colleagues don’t focus on the question of how the notebook came to be found. They mention the notebook, but not its discovery. Despite Ms. Miller’s apparent reluctance to cooperate with her colleagues, I hope they will continue to pursue, and that their editors will allow them to continue to pursue, what seems like an important question.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com