Judy's Call Data Versus My Call Data

There’s an irony to yesterday’s 2nd Circuit Court decision that the NYT must turn over Judy Miller’s and Phillip Shenon’s phone records to DOJ. Since the District Court decision that the NYT didn’t have to turn over phone data, we’ve learned that the government is already getting our phone data–all of ours, journalist or not–in the name of fighting terrorism. Not that that should affect existing First Amendment privilege, but keeping in mind that AT&T is already handing over your phone records, consider what the Circuit Court decision describes as Judy’s and Shenon’s actions.

The opinion starts the chronology with an October 1, 2001 Judy Miller and KurtEichenwald article that discusses government efforts to shut down a bunch ofcharities tied to Al Qaeda.

Widening the financial assault on Osama bin Laden, administrationofficials are preparing to freeze the assets of about two dozen morecharities and other organizations that are suspected of providing moneyand support to his terrorist operations, government officials saidyesterday.

  1. Raidora says:

    The NSA has always had the data. It’s in their charter. The CIA is moving to DIA/NSA under Plame’s old boss. This is a major security issue.

    The idea might be that Plame used NSA assets during her work at Brewster’s on domestic political groups (527s). She probably chose to complain with an agenda at Congress. Congress turned it over to the American people and we are once again taking care of retiring CIA agents.

    It would be interesting to see her records and research at NSA and who she investigated in the US that made her complain, but it’s all classified.

    It does’nt matter who it is, whether it’s a reporter or a Congressman on the intelligence committee. Terror has to be monitored, alot like the coincidences you mention in your story.

    If cares to fell better, investigate the classified material on the Drug War, you’ll find they were already doing what the CIA is complaining about.

  2. pdaly says:


    I think these are the same raids described by Rita Katz, the Iraqi-born Jewish woman who authored â€Terrorist Hunter†anonymously several years ago. (She has since come out publicly as the author).

    She claims even before 9/11 she was making use of exclusively public documents (such as magazines, pamphlets, newspapers and public financial statements the nonprofits and other organizations filed with the US Government) to trace out a web of terrorist organizations and front companies in the US. At several points in the story, she has to drop everything to explain/fax/mail copies of her open sources and methods to yet another government official interested in the material.
    She even has to defend herself in front of an FBI team investigating how she learned of certain facts of the investigation leading up to the raids.

    Katz does not identify the parade of people in sudden need of her expertise and her (public) documents. Purely speculating here: did Judy Miller ever get a briefing from Katz whether directly or indirectly (via Libby?)?
    Did Judy, in defending herself against this leak investigation, use Katz’s work as an excuse for knowing details about the raid? Was it Fitzgerald who ordered the FBI interview of Katz?

  3. Anonymous says:


    I don’t think so. Judy has apparently admitted (she and Shenon submitted affadavits) to receiving a classified leak for the October 1 article. And she cites CT officials elsewhere. So it seems like this came from the government, and she has admitted as much.

  4. freepatriot says:

    so if somebody could explain how these leaks served our national security, we let judy go

    if there is no BENIFIT to national security, we hang judyjudyjudy as a traitor

    this would be a direct act of providing â€Aid or Comfort†to the enemy, no ???

  5. Jon says:

    Emptywheel, thanks for a very interesting post.

    Why would a neocon shill be involved in tipping-off Islamic Charities to impending government action, especially ones that are suspected of funding Middle East terrorist organizations? And that’s exactly what it was … a tip-off. There was no journalistic value in asking the charities for their reaction to a government action that had not yet occurred. The scoop could have been had by just reporting that the government was about to commence action against an Islamic charity suspected of terrorist ties. After the government action, then the reporter could have interviewed the charity operators and wrote a follow-up story to the scoop. This would have been more normal operating procedure for a journalist covering such a sensitive story.

    Also, why would Judy and her fellow reporter receive government leaks about impending government actions of such a sensitive nature? What aims did the government leakers hope to achieve with this leak?

  6. Anonymous says:


    I’m not actually convinced (and, as you no doubt know, I do believe Judy capable of lots). I guess my approach would first be to figure out who leaked to Judy. If it were, say, Grover Norquist, with his ties to Arab charities and his ability to learn these things, I would throw them both in jail right away (no no, I mean after a trial). I’m most intrigued by the possibility that Judy may have hunted down the guy who was then reporting on charities to give him the tip (if that’s what she did), yet she received no mention in that article. Not like Judy to pass up a bit of a byline.