And what about the original waiver that you received...?
It was a blanket waiver. That was a waiver demanded by his boss, and it was not specific. And when my lawyer Floyd Abrams specifically asked him for a personal waiver, Scooter Libby's lawyer said no. That's where we stood, and people didn't know that for a long time because it wasn't until I was released that all of that came out.
What did you learn about yourself in prison. Did the experience change you?
It made me think differently about who's in jail and why they're in jail. I got very interested in the prison system and very opposed to mandatory drug laws and some of the other reasons why we have the largest proportionally incarcerated population in the world in the United States. I stayed in touch with some of the women I was in prison with. It wasn't a Martha Stewart prison, as they say. It was tough. But it was also a very well-run prison. I think I came to appreciate how lucky I was to be, weirdly enough, at the Alexandria Detention Center as opposed to some of the other places that we read about and see in the press. And as a result, I got a dog. I gave my husband a dog when I went away. I thought he wouldn't be quite so lonely.
You took a lot of heat for your role in the Valerie Plame affair. If you could name one of each—what criticism do you think was fair and what criticism do you think was unfair?
Well, there was a stream of absolutely factually wrong stories from Arianna Huffington, who never apologized or corrected the record. She was wrong about everything. I didn't go to jail to protect myself because I was the source. I didn't go to jail for a book contract. I fully intended never to write anything until Scooter Libby's legal plight was adjudicated. I felt it was inappropriate to do so. And unethical.
Do you think any criticism of you was fair?
I didn't see a lot of it. I just didn't see a lot of it because in jail you don't get newspapers and when I came out I had many more things to do. We got the Washington Post for 22 women. I finally got the New York Times delivered. There's no Internet in jail...it's not like you can do your Google search in the morning.
What do you think your legacy will be?
I really hope it will be a shield law. And I hope to some extent that I encourage other journalists not to accept these blanket waivers. I think it's made us all a little more cautious about promising anonymity to sources. [When you are doing] intelligence reporting or you're interviewing "senior government officials," as they are routinely called in our papers, it has been fairly standard I think if they say, "I don't want to see my name in print," to say, "Yeah." That's the way Washington has traditionally worked. I think because of what happened in my case, people have had to be a little more careful about that. I think me, too, we were all a little too cavalier about extending anonymity pledges to sources. On the other end, it's very hard when you are dealing with people who handle intelligence to get any information at all if you are going to name them. It's a very tough area to report in.