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December 26, 2005

Lock Up The Leakers

Jack Kelly, quoted at Michelle Malkin's:

It is despicable, but not illegal, for the news media to publish vital national secrets leaked to them. But the leakers have committed a felony. Those who have demanded severe punishment for whoever it was who told reporters that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA have been remarkably forgiving about who leaked the existence of the NSA intercept program, which - like the earlier leak of secret CIA prisons for al-Qaeda bigwigs and unlike the Plame kerfuffle - has done serious harm to our national security.

But fortunately, by clapping New York Times reporter Judith Miller in irons until she talked, overzealous special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has set a valuable precedent.

Attorney General Gonzales should subpoena Mr. Risen and Mr. Lichtblau, and have them cited for contempt of court if they do not disclose their source or sources. Maybe they could share Judy Miller's old cell.

It's important to keep in mind it's not the reporters who have a sworn duty to keep classified information secret. It's the people actually entrusted with the information, the leakers themselves. Still, if a few reporters have to cool their heels in the clink until they give up their sources, it's worth it. It would certainly discourage would-be leakers to know their sources will be pressured into giving them up.

But we still don't know if an investigation into the leaks has even begun.


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posted by Ace at 01:04 PM

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