First, the New York Observer broke the news that Miller suddenly "discovered" an additonal set of notes detailing conversations she had with key Vice-Presidential aide "Scooter" Libby-- notes that apparently date from June 2003. The timing of the notes is important: according to the most recent timeline of the Plame case, Miller first reported speaking with Libby on July 8th. Writes the Observer: "The notes, a source said, could significantly change the time frame of Miller's involvement with Libby."

"After spending 85 days in jail for civil contempt," the Observer writes, "Miller testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury on September 30 and turned over one set of edited notes. Those notes covered a pair of conversations she had with Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, in July of 2003--shortly after former ambassador Joseph Wilson published a Times op-ed challenging the Bush adminstration's account of the evidence for Iraq's nuclear ambitions.

"The appearance of that op-ed is generally seen as the event that triggered the leaking of the information that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a CIA employee, which led in turn to Fitzgerald's investigation. But a lawyer close to the investigation said that the new set of notes details earlier contact Miller had with Libby."

The Observer also reports that the New York Times is facing internal and external criticism over its handling of the Miller affair, criticism only further stoked by the bizzare "love letter" sent by Libby to Miller in jail. Writes Greg Mitchell in Editor and Publisher, "after its starring role Wednesday night on "The Daily Show," the Sept. 15 letter "aspens are already turning" letter from "Scooter" Libby to "Judy" Miller has now reached a new level of infamy."

Meanwhile, Murray Waas, an independent veteran investigative reporter who has done some of the most accurate reporting on the Plame case, released what may be his "magnum opus" today in the National Journal Online. Although it reconstructs much of the complicated case from its begining, the major development in the story appears to be Waas' disclosure that "White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove personally assured President Bush in the early fall of 2003 that he had not disclosed to anyone in the press that Valerie Plame, the wife of an administration critic, was a CIA employee, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the accounts that both Rove and Bush independently provided to federal prosecutors."

Continues Waas, "If Rove purposely misled the president, the FBI, or the White House press secretary, a reasonable prosecutor might construe such acts as 'overt acts in furtherance of a criminal plan." Speculates a DailyKos diarist, "Like all big Plame afficianados, Waas realizes this is his last chance to put everything he knows into a narrative ... Waas basically has the goods on how Rove could flip to implicate Bush. [Or] [erhaps someone inside is trying to put some pressure on Rove."

With the Plame grand jury term expiring on October 28, many observers expect the case to be wrapped up in the next few days or weeks.