Thursday, June 30, 2005

Time Magazine to turn over subpoenaed records

CNN - Time Inc. announced Thursday it would turn over the subpoenaed records from journalist Matt Cooper regarding the leak of a CIA operative's name, even though it "strongly disagrees" with the court order

I think some might look at this event as an interference between the U.S. Government and the Freedom of the Press. I see it a bit differently. I see it as setting rule of law above excuses to break the law. - For those who missed it here is a quick recap: Matt Cooper and Judith Miller of the New York Times were facing up to four months in jail for refusing to reveal their confidential sources in the "Plame is a CIA agent" revelation.

Because federal law makes it a crime to deliberately reveal the identity of a CIA operative, the Justice Department launched an investigation...
Miller and Cooper and their news organizations decided to fight the subpoenas, although Cooper did reveal one unnamed source who released him from confidentiality pledge.
Ironically, Miller faces jail time for refusing to reveal sources she developed during her reporting, even though she never actually wrote a story on Plame or Wilson.

Prying1 sez:
It is a no brainer. If some 'source' broke the law in revealing information to me you bet your sweet bippy the 'source' will find his name on the judges desk before the spit dries on the envelope flap... I realize I am in no way on the same playing field as the big boys in the news rooms and they need to have 'sources' that sometimes need anonymity BUT should any citizen, a newsman or not, fall on the sword for another citizen who is breaking or has broken the law.

Hypotheticals aside I think the answer should reflect the importance of the rule of law.