Judith Miller and Matt Cooper will be in court today trying to avoid 18 months in the pokey for refusing to testify n the Plame case:
New York Times reporter Judith Miller is seeking to avoid imprisonment for refusing to tell U.S. prosecutors the source of a story she never wrote.
She is fighting a subpoena from a prosecutor investigating the 2003 disclosure to syndicated columnist Robert Novak that the wife of a Bush administration critic was a CIA undercover agent. In gathering material for the unpublished story, Miller spoke to “one or more” government officials and promised to protect their identities, her lawyers said in court papers.
Miller, 56, and Matthew Cooper, 41, a Time magazine reporter who identified the CIA official in a July 17, 2003, Web posting, today are asking a U.S. appeals court in Washington to set aside civil contempt orders that would send them behind bars for as long as 18 months for refusing to identify their sources.
“To protect the confidentiality of sources, or potential sources, I think this is an issue worth going to jail over if I have to,” Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said during a Nov. 30 broadcast of the Charlie Rose interview show. “I may be going to jail for a story which I didn’t write about.”
Oh noble, brave Judy “Yellowcake” Miller. I say let her fry, or at least let her spend 18 months bunking with Big Marge.
Miller and Cooper are witnesses to a crime. The fact that they are also journalists is irrelevant. It is their obligation as citizens of this country to respond to the subpeonas and testify to what they know.
Others don’t see it that way:
Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said the Bush administration Justice Department has been more hard-nosed about seeking information from reporters in leak investigations. Her organization, based in Arlington, Virginia, raises money to defend reporters in such cases.
“This is an administration that really hates leaks,” Dalglish said. “Previous administrations disliked leaks, investigated them but did not get too hung up on them.”
Oh, please. “This administration hates leaks”? Seriously, this administration used a particularly heinous leak to silence one truth-teller and threaten several others. If this administation hated leaks it could have resolved this particular case way back in July of 2003 shortly after Novak’s article appeared.
This leak-hating administration chose to reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent then cover-up for the leakers. Miller and Cooper in choosing to join in on the cover-up by refusing to testify are accomplices after the fact and that is why they will be sent to jail today.