Otherwise, I don't really understand why N.Y. Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed today while Matthew Cooper barely escaped incarceration when his piece ran after Novak had published Plame's name and Miller's never ran one at all.
There are times when I do think reporters should be required to dime on sources. This isn't one of them. The story, in short:
Fitzgerald is investigating who in the administration leaked Plame's identity. Her name was disclosed in a column by Robert Novak days after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, impugned part of President Bush's justification for invading Iraq.If Novak had refused to identify his administration sources, wouldn't he be in contempt also? He doesn't seem to be in jail . . . .
Wilson was sent to Africa by the Bush administration to investigate an intelligence claim that Saddam Hussein may have purchased yellowcake uranium from Niger in the late 1990s for use in nuclear weapons. Wilson said he could not verify the claim and criticized the administration for manipulating the intelligence to "exaggerate the Iraqi threat."
Novak, whose column cited as sources two unidentified senior Bush administration officials, has refused to say whether he has testified before the grand jury or been subpoenaed. Novak has said he "will reveal all" after the matter is resolved and that it is wrong for the government to jail journalists.
Disclosure of an undercover intelligence officer's identity can be a federal crime if prosecutors can show the leak was intentional and the person who released that information knew of the officer's secret status.
Cooper spoke to White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove after Wilson's public criticism of Bush and before Novak's column ran, according to Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, who denies that Rove leaked Plame's identity to anyone. Cooper's story mentioning Plame's name appeared after Novak's column. Miller did some reporting, but never wrote a story.