Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Judith Miller Jailed

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller jailed today after Miller refused to divulge her sources in her investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name. At the same hearing, Time reporter Matthew Cooper today agreed to testify before the federal grand jury looking into the leaks, after previously declining to do so.

Jailing Miller is bound to have a chilling effect on journalists across the country, some of whom rely on confidential sources routinely. My guess is that chilling effect is exactly what the judge wants.

The most curious part of this whole ordeal is that Robert Novak has been exempted from all court proceedings so far, despite the fact he named the operative in a column, citing two senior Bush administration officials. It seems that a few questions for Novak in front of the grand jury would be in order.

As the judge and prosecutor spread their love to Time, The New York Times, and its reporters, it is hard not to notice that Novak is getting a free pass. It is also hard not to deduce that his strong support of President Bush plays a role in that free pass.


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