Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Question

Since the NY Times reporter Judith Miller sits in jail for trying to protect her source on the Valerie Plame outing, and since you know my position about revealing sources, I was curious:

Many non-journalists (I assume) posted thoughts that said no one was above the law. And now that Karl Rove seems to have had his hand in this, and may be complicit, and could be facing jail himself, I wanted to know:

We're those of you siding with the judge expressing thoughts because you wanted to see someone in this White House go down for this crime, or because you don't believe we in the news business have an absolute right to protect anonymous sources?

I await responses from all sides.

To make it clear, I think when you promise anonymity on a story, you give anonymity, even if it means jail.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually don't mind Judith Miller going to jail because she is complicint in lying us into Iraq and I have serious doubts she is a true journalist. Go back and take a look at what she was publishing as fact before the war. One wonders who she is working for and what her job truelly is. Will her contacts show she is nothing but a propagandist? If she was protecting an act of courage I would be the first one to take her side. This is not about protecting the right of journalism, its about protecting HER career as a Rightwing plant.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger MAX Redline said...

Holy mackerel! Slow down, take a pill or whatever - your fingers are skipping all over the keyboard, Anon! Man, I hate it when a dedicated "journalist" gets all foamy at the mouth and starts ranting about right-wing plants.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 2:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you read the work she did before the war? It was right out of the mouth of Iraq's new oil minister Ahmed Chalabi
and completely and utterly wrong. She has NEVER had to explain herself. It was pure propaganda that pushed this administrations line exactly on point. After all the tricks that have been played on Journalist over the last 5 years I can't believe journalist alarm bells are not going off. How many times do you people have to be duched before you relize what kind of game is being played? The target isn't Rove or Scooter Libby its YOU! Guarenteed Miller folds after a few days in Jail for all the world to see now that its a story. Then she gets to write a big bad book called "my struggle" and reap the benifits. No one in the Ad min will go down over this and the Press will be effectively Nuetered for good.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 3:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who choose to break the law and "out" a CIA agent should be charged with the crime - including those who print the information. I don't care if they are a liberal, conservative, Maoist, Quaker, street vendor, presidential advisor, blogger, or publisher. What they have done is put someone's life at risk. Our freedoms do have limits (Open door for anti-Bush crowd to run through). You have the freedom to do anything you want - you just have to be willing to face the consequences of your action whether that be public ridicule, jail time, or a pat-on-the-back.

Just to make it clear where I stand, I am a moderate conservative, registered Democrat, vote Republican on financial issues, believe the reporters and publishers should be tried alongside their source(s) even if a source has an office in the White House.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 3:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need more paranoid Journalist. Especially covering this WH.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 3:33-

The crime of revealing classified information properly belongs to the leaker with the security clearance. If there is a bright line between criminal activity and non-criminal activity to be drawn, it must be drawn right there. By your standard, almost all citizens would be guilty of the thoughtcrime of knowing unlawfully-released classified information. Am I to be arrested because I have heard in press reports some information that was once allegedly classified? Because I told someone else?

Once the information has escaped classification, there's no controlling it. The harm is done, and additional prosecutions for repetition or re-publication are futile.

To our host-

I think the judge has acted properly in holding Ms. Miller in contempt... she is not answering to the lawful court. Yet I also think Ms. Miller is acting properly. Regardless of her other faults, she is keeping her promise in good faith despite imprisonment. It's hard to fault her for keeping her promise; we could use more people in public life this committed to their word.

The leaker, however, not only leaked classified information and possibly put many lives at risk, but now is sitting idly by while someone goes to jail on his behalf. Ms. Miller's source should own up to his crimes by coming forward to get her off the hook.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Mikey said...

I think a journalist should have the right to maintain anonymous sources (how that would work legally is beyond me) and I think they should use them when needed.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

As I said in the previous thread on topic, I believe in a federal shield law. However, no shield law can be absolute. Shield laws are designed to protect whistleblowers from retribution, especially in situations where it is in the public's best interest.

We are not dealing with whistleblowing or information being divuldged in the public's best interest. This is, quite simply an abuse of power for what appears to be for political retribution (keeping in mind that Plame was working on WMD issues and was part of Wilson investigating the yellowcake in Niger). The person guilty of blowing Plame's cover seems to be abusing privlege in order to facilitate the commission of a crime.

That being said, there is a ton we don't know about and I doubt that anyone will be convicted of the crime of exposing a CIA agent. Perjury charges are more likely. There are a lot of wierd things happening that are unexplained. Cooper's source signed a waiver of anonymity before he testified. I don't see why the source would do this if he revealed, specifically, Plame's name to Cooper. So assuming, that it was Rove, I still don't see why Rove would expose himself in that way.

This is just a wild guess, but imagine a conversation between Rove and Cooper along the lines of:

Rove: "Wilson's trip to Niger was arranged by someone close to him."

Cooper: "Who?"

Rove: "Talk to Judith Miller"

Thursday, July 07, 2005 6:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is blood on Judith Miller's hands. I don't feel a bit sorry for her.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 7:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, Rove or whoever leaked Valerie Plame's name, took advantage of (and abused) anonymous sources. Between Fox News, Jayson Blair, and Jack Kelly using anonymous sources to hide falsified stories and the Plame outing, it is also obvious that some guidelines need to be set up if a source wants to remain anonymous. I think a written contract with a few out clauses for the reporter/publisher/etc... if the source doesn't operate in good faith, lies, etc... Or just severely restrict who anonymity is given too. These days it is given so freely, sources know they can demand it and threaten not to talk unless they are given it.

For the record, I would have outed the source of Plame leak. It is obvious that the source was leaking the Plame info to punish a whistle blower and intimidate future whistle blowers and was hiding behind anonymous source to avoid prosecution for committing a crime of outing a covert spy.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 7:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really feel that J.M was not serving any "greater good" with this story. Quite frankly she was used by someone for a political attack.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 7:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

Quite frankly she was used by someone for a political attack.

In a way, yes, but she was complicit and sympathetic to the cause/motivation of the leaker.

The amount of crap that she served up based almost exclusively on a single source (Chalabi) leaves me very unsympathetic to her. She is hiding something significant and I don't think that the motivation is altrustic as protecting privlege.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger PDXMediaWatcher said...

So I take it that you want to see her punished for past writings, not the fact that she's holding on to someone's identity. Remember, she NEVER wrote a story about Plame.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

I should've been more clear.

My implication is that based on her previous work, it seems to me that she would be more willing to shield someone in the administration.

I'd like to see some accountability for her past writings, but that has nothing to do with this situation beyond establishing her apparent bias.

I'm buying the "standing up for journalistic integrity" BS.

Thursday, July 07, 2005 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Simp said...

Sheesh. Of all places not to proofread...

should read: I'm not buying the "standing up for journalistic integrity" BS.


11:16 PM, July 07, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005 3:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I wrote in an earlier thread, the leak of Ms. Plame's name probably wasn't even a crime at all. Even the liberal New York Times came to this conclusion. Thus, if Mr. Rove was the "leaker," I don't see him facing any consequences for this leak.

If he lied under oath, that's another thing entirely. He is no more above the law than Ms. Miller or any other journalist, and should face the same consequences.

I don't agree that Ms. Miller should be exempt from testifying, again because of my statement above regarding people being "above the law." The law should apply to everyone, and that includes grand jury testimony. (By the way, why be afraid of testifying before a grand jury when the proceedings are secret? Oh, that's right, people are more than happy to provide an anonymous leak of grand jury testimony to those same journalists. They, of all people, know that the promise of grand jury secrecy is a farce — just ask Jason Giambi.)

To paraphrase the question of our host: I don't believe those in the news gathering business have an absolute right to protect anonymous sources, because that would put them above the law the rest of us have to follow.

An absolute right to protect sources means anonymity without accountability. That's different from a pledge to do so, which (if kept) might mean that consequences will follow. I actually applaud Ms. Miller for keeping her word despite the consequences. That's an increasingly rare trait these days.

Friday, July 08, 2005 8:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bottom line in America is that NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW! Period.
I can believe in the sanctity of sources, but if the highest court says it ain't so, IT AIN'T SO.

Our Constitution lays out certain rights and privileges -- and sets up a court system to administer their interpretation.

In a very, very narrowly focused decision, not affecting most cases of privilege, they decided against the reporters.

If we try to apply conditional acceptance to court rulings, we face anarchy.

Friday, July 08, 2005 9:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it material to any commenter's thoughts so far, that reports now are adding other names -- Bush, for example -- to the expansion of suspects Plame's and Cooper's cases, and Judge Hogan's ruling, might involve? ---

DEVELOPING STORY July 6, 2005

White House Rovegate conspiracy likely to grow to include other senior White House officials
Bush Not Off the Hook -- Witnesses reportedly told Grand Jury that Bush knew about the leak beforehand and took no action to stop it.

[This article is interrupted here to cite the source of the "Bush knew" assertion, and this Wayne Madsen Report article resumes (below) following the slugged hyphens.]

-------
Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative's Name
By Staff and Wire Reports -- Jun 3, 2004, 05:28

Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative's name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq.

Their damning testimony has prompted Bush to contact an outside lawyer for legal advice ...

Wilson also said it's possible the leak came from Elliott Abrams, a figure in the Reagan administration Iran-Contra affair and now a member of Bush's National Security Council. And Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, may have circulated information about Wilson and Plame "in administration and neoconservative circles" even if Rove was not himself the leaker, Wilson wrote.

Another possibility is that two lower-level officials in Cheney's office - John Hannah or David Wurmser - leaked Plame's identity at the behest of higher-ups "to keep their fingerprints off the crime," Wilson speculated.

Sources within the investigation say evidence points to Rove approving release of the leak. They add that their investigation suggests the President knew about Rove's actions but took no action to stop release of Plame's name.
###
© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue
------

More on Rovegate: According to Washington insiders, Karl Rove is not the only "person of interest" being investigated by a Federal special prosecutor and the FBI for leaking the name of covert CIA agent to the media. In addition to the leak, itself a crime, prosecutors are looking at criminal conspiracy involving a non-White House "pass through" that leaked the classified information on Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings Associates to Robert Novak. ...

July 6 was the same day that President Bush departed Washington for Africa -- and it is also known that the prosecutor subpoenaed phone records from Air Force One from July 6 to July 30 -- but the focus is on July 6 -- the evening Air Force One departed Andrews Air Force Base for Senegal (EDT) (the aircraft arrived in Senegal on July 7) and the day Rove called the White House "pass through," said to be one of the journalists subpoenaed by the Grand Jury. Rove's lawyer is now claiming that Rove did not "knowingly" disclose the name of a CIA agent. Rove's claim is incredulous considering the fact that it is doubtful Rove would have cared about Plame's identity and then sought to spread it throughout the media, if she worked for the Bureau of Land Management or the Comptroller of the Currency. ...

There are also growing suspicions that Rove coordinated the exposure of Plame and her network through an entity called the White House Iraq Group -- an entity created to manage the propaganda for the war. Its members included Rove, Cheney's assistant Mary Matalin, White House communications assistants Karen Hughes and James Wilkinson, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Legislative liaison Nicholas Calio, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her deputy Stephen Hadley, and Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The entire White House Iraq Group is considered suspect in knowing beforehand about the leak and participating in the subsequent conspiracy to cover it up -- both in conversations between Air Force One en route to Africa and Washington, DC and in group strategy meetings to deal with the subpoena of documents and testimony before the Grand Jury. Although the focus is now on Rove, many insiders also believe Scooter Libby phoned reporters to divulge Plame's identity.

###

Backstory material: Bush on ITV1 ("Tonight" program) in Britain on July 4 prior to G8 in Scotland. His reason for Iraq invasion has gone from WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) to WWRs (women without rights). Bush has a very serious problem with understanding reality. The 25th Amendment comes to mind as a very serious option.

[n.b.: The 25th Amendment sanctions removal from office for mental incapacity, deficiency, insanity, etc.]

TONIGHT: Mr President, if I can move on to the question of Iraq, when we last spoke before the Iraq war, I asked you about Saddam Hussein and you said this, and I quote: "He harbours and develops weapons of mass destruction, make no mistake about it."

Well, today, no WMD, the war has cost 1,700 American lives, many more Iraqi civilians killed, hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to your country. Can you understand why some people in your country are now beginning to wonder whether it was really worth it?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Absolutely. I mean, when you turn on your TV set every day [note: Sounds like ' take your ordered medication' ] and see this incredible violence and the havoc that is wreaked as a result of these killers, I'm sure why people are getting discouraged. And that's why I spoke to the nation last night and reminded people that this is a - Iraq is a part of this global war on terror. And the reason why foreign fighters are flocking into Iraq is because they want to drive us out of the region.

See, these folks represent an ideology that is based upon hate and kind of a narrow vision of mankind - women don't have rights. And I believe this is an ideological movement. And I know that they want to use suicide bombers and assassinations and attacks on the World Trade Centre, and the attacks in Madrid, to try to shake our will and to achieve an objective, which is to topple governments.

Friday, July 08, 2005 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can some journalist explain why the White house press core have not asked Mcclellen about Rove yet, 6 days after his name began to leak? MSM is dead.

Friday, July 08, 2005 2:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative's name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq."

What? A leak from a (supposedly secret) grand jury? What? We have no idea about the legitimacy of the claims?

Thanks for making my point about the lack of accountability in your profession.

Friday, July 08, 2005 3:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does is surprise anybody that hardly anybody gets their news from the White House press corps anymore?

Friday, July 08, 2005 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a different angle on protecting sources. But I would ask a different question than Anonymous asked about people changing their views of Plame. I would ask the host or hostess, you wanted to know which reason people sided with the judge. I wonder if you side with the judge and if you have limits about revealing sources? I'm sorry I don't know your position about revealing sources as you say.

Anyway, tis letter comes off of the FTW website and here are some sentences from it. If you go to FTW to read the whole thing it is a hoot to see the Tshirts for the "FTW Oregon Tour 2005". They are on the page on the link where he is selling his book with these facts.

Crossing the Rubicon was recently accorded Onlinereviewofbooks.com's non-fiction Book of the Year (2004). In addition, Crossing the Rubicon made a prominent Top 5 list of political best-sellers, as seen on C-SPAN (Nov. 2004).

ISBN #0-86571-540-8
(approx 675 pages with illustrations)
New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada)
$15.99 (US)


"In my book I make several key points:

1. I name Vice President Richard Cheney as the prime suspect in the mass murders of 9/11 and will establish that, not only was he a planner in the attacks, but also that on the day of the attacks he was running a completely separate Command, Control and Communications system which was superceding any orders being issued by the FAA, the Pentagon, or the White House Situation Room;

2. I establish conclusively that in May of 2001, by presidential order, Richard Cheney was put in direct command and control of all wargame and field exercise training and scheduling through several agencies, especially FEMA. This also extended to all of the conflicting and overlapping NORAD drills -- some involving hijack simulations -- taking place on that day.

And theres more.


But here's the letter link.

July 5, 2005
Please Distribute Widely

June 29, 2005

The Honorable Michael Chertoff, Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Secretary Chertoff and General Gonzales:

Recent behavior by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Division - acting in the jurisdiction of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton - constituted a violation of the U.S. Constitutional right of a free press.


On May 24, 2005, Agents Carlos Salazar and Steve White of ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility unit visited the San Antonio, Texas, workplace of journalist Bill Conroy in a very unprofessional attempt to intimidate Mr. Conroy into revealing sources of non-classified information and documents embarrassing to the Department and to the U.S. Attorney's office for the San Antonio, Texas, region.

According to Mr. Conroy's publisher at the San Antonio Business Journal, agents Salazar and White told him that a document published by Mr. Conroy on Narco News, embarrassing to the Department of Homeland Security, was not classified but that the agents were seeking to find out the identity of the source out of a purely speculative fear that Mr. Conroy's source "might leak classified documents in the future."

Mr. Conroy, as a journalist, has reported a series of stories involving the "House of Death" case in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in which an undercover informant in the process of seeking to make a drug case for U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's office, allegedly committed numerous homicides while under the protection of that office.

Thank you for your attention to this matter of deep concern.

Sincerely,

Cynthia McKinney
U.S. Representative, Fourth District - Georgia

CC: Michael J. Garcia
Assistant Secretary
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
425 I St., NW
Washington, D.C., 20536

Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney
United States Attorney's Office
601 NW Loop 410, Suite 600
San Antonio,Texas 78216

Agents Carlos Salazar and Steve White
Office of Professional Responsibility
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
45 NE Loop 410, Suite 600
San Antonio, TX 78216

Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee

Members of the News Media

Friday, July 08, 2005 4:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that you quote Mr. Ruppert and Ms. McKinney as if they have ANY validity, or a seat at the reality table, once again reveals the depth of your industry's bias.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 4:20:00 PM  

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