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July 14, 2005

Public Interest

-- by Dave Johnson

What Ian says.

Now, if a reporter's right to shield her sources arises from the public's need to know information, then Judith is going to jail for the exact opposite reason - because she wants to make sure the public doesn't know information that it is in the public interest to know.

... If a powerful government official is using the press to smear his enemies; is using the press to insert lies in order to sell a war; or is using his position to break the cover of undercover agents who are working to make sure I don't get killed in a nuclear explosion one day; the information I need is who that man is and who is aiding him in doing these things. That's the public interest.

Posted by Dave Johnson at July 14, 2005 10:18 AM

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OK, what is she hiding? If we go by the theories expressed at STF, that Karl Rove is the link, then protecting him makes no sense. Rove gave an unconditional waiver to these reporters to testify about his conversations with him and Cooper has already "given" him up. So there must be some other link, one that could debunk the theories about Rove's guilt.

Unless you have some byzantine conspiracy theory that Judith "warn the holy land foundation that the feds were coming" Miller is going to jail to raise doubt for Rove in a possible future criminal case. And if you believe that, i would suggest a psychiatrist.

Posted by: Pericles at July 14, 2005 11:36 AM

Miller has said that her source has granted her a waiver, but told her he did so under coercion, and that is the reason she will not reveal the source. Note that Rove's lawyer says Cooper "burned" Rove by naming him.

Also, it is Miller's TESTIMONY in a trial that can put the source in jail.

Now, as for the Holy Land Foundation case, a report DID call to warn them that there was going to be a raid.

And using the "conspiracy theory" talking point doesn't buy you anything.

Posted by: Dave Johnson at July 14, 2005 11:56 AM

From what I've read of the legal justifications for arresting and sentencing Miller and Cooper, and the case history, putting Miller in jail has not changed the law in any substantive or interpretive way. The only difference is that Miller and Cooper are big fish in a big case happening in the big ocean, with a lot of lights shining on them. I do not see how this can be interpreted as some sort of erosion of the use of anonymous sources against government secrecy.

Now, if this were called an _example_ of how there are not stringent enough protections for reporters / whistleblowers / anonymous sources, then that would be ok with me, even though I agree with Ian and Dave above on the quality of this particular case as a test case.

Posted by: Bribes at July 14, 2005 2:11 PM

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