Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, a Justice Department prosecutor, is trying to determine who in the Bush administration leaked the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame in 2003 to the media and whether any laws were violated.
Plame's name was leaked, her diplomat husband said, because of his criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war. Right.
So Judge Hogan orders Judith Miller to jail, saying confinement at a jail in the Washington, D.C., area might convince her to change her mind and testify. Meanwhile buddy Time reporter Matt Cooper gets a convenient phone call from his "source" who suddenly tells him it's OK to squawk, and so he doesn't go to jail. Yup, its Cooper and Time who are the chicken-shits!
Kudos to Miller, she has enough guts to stand by her principles as a professional journalist, whether you agree with her or not. Meanwhile Bob Novack, not exactly Mr. Liberal, and the real potential villain in all this, is nowhere to be heard from...
It's interesting because first I hear about this on NPR (yes, I listen and I am a financial supporter too) and alta-cacca Daniel Schorr, who should have retired 45 years ago, is pontificating how this is a body blow to the press, etc. etc. and what terrible things would happen if the Executive Branch would have been able to pressure Woodward and Bernstein to clam up over Watergate, right?
OK so now I'm home and ABC, fearing their boat may already be listing to the right somewhat, attempts to stabilize by bringing on George Stephanopolis to provide his sage wisdom. Meanwhile, over at FOX, Brit Hume talks about how he himself once wrote a piece in the New York Times Magazine at the time of the Supreme Court decision 32 years ago and makes the point that "deep throats" never went away after that one, in fact they are bigger than ever.
But the thing has gone overboard, and the main point is this:
I don't think there should be any doubt that confidential sources should be off-limits to the courts. However - it depends on the story. If the leak, as in this case, harms our national security, the reporter has broken the law. Yup, that's what the law says. Watergate, they did a good thing by exposing corruption in Government. But - there was no effect on national security. That's the difference. So, you can't have your source and eat it, too.
N.B. There's more to this:
"The information age is over. The information is out there," said Jim Guerin, technology director for the city of Dunedin, which will soon be the first city in Florida to go completely Wi-Fi. "Now it's the connectivity age. It opens up a whole new area for ethics, legal boundaries and responsibilities. It's a whole new frontier."
There's a dark side to the convenience, though. The technology has made life easier for high-tech criminals because it provides near anonymity. A "Wireless moocher" was arrested recently in florida, sitting with his wireless laptop in his van outside somebody's house. Even though many people know how to turn on WEP encryption and keys, they don't do so because "Well, the neighbors are all old people..."