Wednesday, July 06, 2005

NYTimes Reporter sent to jail; Time reporter off the hook [UPDATED]
I'm dying to know where this is going. Very strange. Matt Cooper--the one whose notes apparently implicate Karl Rove--was contacted and released from confidentiality by his underlying source, so he's going to testify. Judy Miller was not. So she's going to jail.

Different sources? Was Rove not Cooper's underlying source? Does this development exonerate Rove and show that he did not in fact reveal classified info? Does it question Rove's grand jury testimony? Will Miller's source stop being such a coward and release her?

I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I don't like the idea of reporters going to jail. I also don't like the idea of journalists allowing themselves to be used for criminal/treasonous purposes in a game of political back-stabbing. In Miller's defense, and I'm no fan of hers, she never actually reported the information; she just knows something about who was trying to get the info out there. But for the reporters that did, why are they not at least somewhat culpable for knowingly revealing classified information? If Rove told them troop movement details, can they pass that along with impunity too? I doubt it. UPDATE--Doug in the comments reminds me that the law only holds government officials are responsible for revealing classified info knowingly, so that explains that. Whether that still constitutes an ethical lapse on the part of a reporter, to reveal such information for no better reason than to further a political vendetta, is maybe another question. But that answers the legal question--thanks Doug.

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