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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Inside the jury room
Posted by Jill | 6:51 AM
Today's must-read is Libby juror Denis Collins' diary from the jury room of the trial. Just go read it.

Collins is an interesting choice to be the public face of the jury, and if the switfboating of Juror #9 by the Usual Suspects hasn't begun yet, it will any second. Here's why:

Judge Walton read the query sheet I'd marked earlier.

You know someone on the prospective witness list?

I do. Bob Woodward was my boss at the Washington Post for three or four years.

Would you tend to give his statements more credibility than the statements of other witnesses?

I immediately picture a party Woodward hosted at his Georgetown home for the Metro staff about 25 years ago. When I went looking for my girl friend, I found her with some copy aides and reporters in an attic piled high with boxes of files for one of his books.

"Unbelievable," said one of the reporters. "Look at the file labels. This entire box is backup for one interview."

But not infallible. Didn't he write two different books about going to war in Iraq?

Know anyone else on the list?

Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus. I don't think I ever spoke to him during my 10 years at the Post, but twice in the last 14 months we talked at parties thrown by a mutual friend.

Anyone else?

Until a year or so ago, Tim Russert was a neighbor. His back yard and mine shared an alley and a basketball hoop where our sons played. I attended a few neighborhood barbecues in his back yard.

Attorneys at both tables are suppressing "aint this a small town" grins.

Do you know Judith Miller?

No. And yet. I remember a scathing column about Miller in the New York Times and volunteer that I went to grade school with its author, Maureen Dowd. (Maureen had a crush on my brother Kevin. Her older brother Kevin was something of a hero to my youngest brother Brendan after he showed up to coach his grade school football team one Saturday morning in a convertible, with a gorgeous woman in a black cocktail dress in the front seat, and what appeared to be an empty bottle of champagne on the floor. They'd obviously been up all night. He obviously had game.)

I'm not eager to be on any jury for a six week trial, especially with a recently published novel to pimp. But the suggestion that I might lay down for a fellow journalist is starting to irritate. I had to work too hard to become a reporter. Started in the basement of the Washington Post pushing 400 pound rolls of paper to the presses, blah, blah, blah.

"From where you sit I'd be skeptical too," I tell them. "But I've also heard good things about Mr. Libby." Pregnant pause. "A friend who played in a 40 and older touch football league with him says he has a good arm."

Actual snickering.

One of the lawyers asks me the subject of my 2005 non-fiction book.


"You wrote about the CIA?"

"I did." The perfect storm.

Yet here I am.

Their squawking is so predictable I could almost write it myself.


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