The New York Times and Judith Miller, a veteran reporter for the paper, reached an agreement today that ends her 28-year career at the newspaper and caps more than two weeks of negotiations.
Lawyers for Ms. Miller and the paper negotiated a severance package, the details of which they would not disclose. Under the agreement, Ms. Miller will retire from the newspaper, and The Times will print a letter she wrote to the editor explaining her position. Ms. Miller originally demanded that she be able to write an essay for the paper's Op-Ed page challenging the allegations against her. The Times refused that demand - Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page, said, "We don't use the Op-Ed page for back and forth between one part of the paper and another" - but agreed to let her write the letter.
In that letter, to be published in The New York Times on Thursday under the heading, "Judith Miller's Farewell," Ms. Miller said she was leaving partly because some of her colleagues disagreed with her decision to testify in the C.I.A. leak case.
"But mainly," she wrote, "I have chosen to resign because over the last few months, I have become the news, something a New York Times reporter never wants to be."
She noted that even before going to jail, she had "become a lightning rod for public fury over the intelligence failures that helped lead our country to war." She said she regretted "that I was not permitted to pursue answers' to questions about those intelligence failures."
Poor, persecuted Judy. Such poignant regrets. She doesn't even get a chance to find the real killers.
Whatever happened to a simple old-fashioned, "You're fired"? Or even, "We've decided to go in a different direction"?
I wish they would.