Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Lock Up Novak!

I agree with Steve's post about the contempt citations in the Valerie Plame case, especially on why the prosecutor isn't grilling Bob Novak? He's far more central to all of this than Cooper or Russert. I know Novak has a nasty public demeanor, but he doesn't look like he can do hard time in the federal pen. I'm guessing he turned stoolie. But if he did name names, why go after Cooper and Russert? Perhaps the prosecutor is looking for a treason conviction. For that you need two different witnesses to the same act.

In addition, there's been a sham aspect to this whole incident. Since last year, journalists have been running around saying how terrible it is that some member of the Bush of the administration outed Valerie Plame, pretending that they didn't know who did such a terrible thing. But if it was so terrible, why didn't they turn in the culprit? I know that journalists argue that they can't reveal sources, lest whistleblowers stop coming forward. But in this case, don't we want to stop whistleblowers from coming forward? How is the public interest and the cause of press freedom advanced by making it easier to confidentially leak the names of CIA operatives for partisan political reasons?

1 comment:

Mediaskeptic said...

Who says Novak hasn't talked about his contacts? He hasn't been held in contempt, so we can infer that he has been fully cooperative. A contempt citation was issued for Matthew Cooper (Time magazine) but not for Russert who apparently answered questions voluntarily.

Walter Pincus (Washington Post)was subpoened yesterday. Pincus claims an administration official gave the information to a Post reporter.

All this suggests that the real question is did a government official reveal the information to Novak or did another reporter reveal it to him? And, if a reporter was the source of his story, which one?

The real question ought to be what part of Valerie Plame's career was a secret if everyone in Washington knew?