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|Until now, the issue had received scant coverage in the US press and might have quietly disappeared. Instead, the decision by the CIA to refer the matter to the Justice Department means that the White House will now face a wrenching inquiry into whether any of its officials broke the law in an effort to discredit Mr Wilson.|
|There are situations in which it might be useful for a journalist to take information from a prosecutor or grand juror -- say, involving a scandal that could affect public health or safety -- even though it is a crime for the leaker to reveal it. It is not a crime for a reporter to receive such information, and the reporter could be serving the public by getting it out. That does not always make it right for the journalist to publish information that could jeopardize, for example, a military operation or police investigation. Each situation has to be carefully weighed on its merits.|
|One lingering question: Where was the press in the weeks after the July 14 Novak column? Other than a few news stories and outraged columns by David Corn and Paul Krugman, the media were napping on this story until the CIA kicked it over to Justice.
. . .
"The hidden bad news is that none of them reported that the Plame information was being leaked by sources who wished to embarrass her and Wilson -- which they could have legitimately done without burning their sources by name. In other words, they all protected the White House from its blunder."
|Originally posted by El Casey S
What I don't understand is why the journalists who wrote this aren't having to serve time - they were the receivers of the leaks - but isn't publishing the info leaking, too? Where are their ethics?
|While this case is a travesty, it won't be the first one that this administration has managed to get away with. Given the new the nadir of investigative journalism, this administration has been emboldened. And why not? Lately, the mainstream media has seemed more interested in stockholders than readers. If Congress won't meaningfully investigate these crimes - and, indeed, even if it will - it is the press's duty to do so. Let us hope it fulfills that duty. But I am not holding my breath about that, either.|
|Originally posted by RowansDad
Two words: Pentagon Papers
|Originally posted by abimommy
The journalists aren't required to keep thier mouths shut. It is thier job to blab.
Sometimes they "ask" the media not to release something but thats the most they can do. Sometimes they listen, somtimes not.
They *can* be imprisoned for not revealing their sources but generally that makes people angry and journalists love being imprisoned for that anyways.
Freedom of the Press applies in these cases, it is the owners of the media that keeps them more quiet than the government.
I would question thier ethics if they had kept thier mouths shut. It is thier duty to inform the public. Why would thier ethics be questioned for doing exactly that?
|Wilson makes no secret of being a left-leaning Democrat and said yesterday he intends to endorse Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) for president. Wilson, a former ambassador to Gabon who served as an Africa expert in the second Clinton administration, has long been friendly with leading Democrats.
In the mid-1980s he worked for then-Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.) as a congressional fellow. He briefed Gore by phone from Baghdad as the senator was preparing to vote to authorize force in the Gulf War. Wilson argued then that force was required.
|As David Corn has pointed out, what McClellan did not say, is even more telling than what he said. He did not say he was trying to get to the bottom of the story and determine if it had any basis in fact. He did not say the president would not tolerate such activities, and was demanding to know what had happened.|
|But the story, in the judgment of Washington editors, did not generate much follow-up coverage because they did not yet know that CIA Director George J. Tenet had asked the Justice Department to look into the matter for possible violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
The story turned a corner on the evening of Sept. 26, when MSNBC.com. and NBC News broke the news of the CIA's request to the Justice Department.
In the opinion of Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz, "The truth is, the press blew it on this one. The story was out there and very few picked up on it."
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