OK, for a start, there really is no "Judith Miller and me." But I have talked to her on the phone a few times. Our lives were once remotely in each other's gravity, drawn together by a pseudo-journalist -- indeed, a model for what Miller has become -- named Steven Emerson.
Miller forfeited the title "journalist" when she became a conduit of propaganda for the cabal that has its bloody hands on the control levers of the nation. She boasted two weeks ago that she "had everything to be proud of." That bombast was in the same edition as a companion piece where the New York Times admitted to censoring reporters who would have exposed details about White House efforts to smear former Ambassador Joe Wilson in retaliation for his exposing one of the lies used to scare the nation into supporting the Iraq War. The reason? The revelations would have embarrassed Miller and her Bush administration patrons.
Miller first surfaced on my radar about a decade ago. She and Emerson had been engaged in a furious campaign attacking Muslim voices in America. Emerson's most noteworthy crusade has been against a Tampa professor, Sami Al-Arian. I eventually exposed many of Emerson's blemishes. More important, the top FBI counterterrorism chief told me Al-Arian had not committed any federal crimes, and the lead federal prosecutor in the case said there was no evidence to prosecute.
Emerson sued me, and after four years I prevailed in both federal and state courts. During that period, I learned of Miller's and Emerson's roles in an informal group that had strong ties to the right-wing Likud Party in Israel.
Prior to 9/11, the Tampa federal probe of Al-Arian had stalled. That was unacceptable to the neo-cons and their Likud allies; Al-Arian was arguably the most prominent advocate for Palestinians in America. Thus, Israel conjured up "intelligence" -- shadowy insinuations much like Miller's WMD claims.
The new "intelligence" led to Al-Arian's indictment. His trial has been going on for months in Tampa. The government has repeatedly been caught prevaricating -- including claims that Israeli intelligence wasn't involved in the prosecution, only to be exposed by an Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz.
Without doubt, Al-Arian had secrets. But the government has had a hard time showing that Al-Arian actually did anything illegal. But justice was never the purpose of the trial -- or the object of Miller's and Emerson's work.
Read more of Group Senior Editor John Sugg's work at www.johnsugg.com.