Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Judith Miller has a friend in Bill Safire

William Safire is angry. In this op-ed, he blasts the Judith Miller/Matthew Cooper/Valerie Plame prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, for pursuing Miller and Cooper, two reporters, when quite possibly no crime has been committed. The man who actually printed the story identifying Judith Plame as a CIA employee, Robert Novak, isn't even on the hook here. Why not? A good question that needs answering. Safire asks how Novak got off the hook and says he owes us all a column describing how it happened.

I agree with Safire, up to a point. Here is where I don't agree. Yes, there has been a violation of the law. The law says that one must answer the questions posed in front of a federal grand jury unless one can impose the 5th amendment guarantee against self-incrimination. Since neither Miller nor Cooper can do this, they must answer the questions. That's the law. If it is a bad law, a federal grand jury is not the place to change it.

Safire says that the case was about the "outing" of an agent - supposedly covert, but working openly at C.I.A. headquarters - in Robert Novak's column two years ago by unnamed administration officials angry at her husband's prewar Iraq criticism. He states this charge about the two angry officials as fact. If William Safire knows something that we don't know, then he owes us a column explaining it to us.

Linked to: Tom Maguire, Pandagon, Citizen Paine, Canadian Journalist, The News Blog, The Flack, Right Side of the Rainbow, The Sideshow,

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