Friday, July 01, 2005

Jail The Washington Two

The US Senate is aiming to pass a resolution arguing that reporters Cooper and Miller don't belong in jail, and their activities are covered by the First Amendment.

Say what??

There's a reason a grand jury is looking into the Plame name dropping: it's a crime.

There's a reason this is being handled by a special prosecutor instead of the usual federal district attorney: it's been alleged that the Bush Administration is guilty of political crime.

The New York Times can pretend that the "free flow of information" is at stake here; what's at stake is press censorship and calumny.

Denouncing a citizen of a crime carries with it the responsibility of cooperating with the authorities in investigating and prosecuting the offender. Time and the New York Times want to let the matter end with a headline. Nuts.

It's especially impossible when the citizen accused is the President of the United States.

There's a name for reckless denunciation of officials as criminals and threats to national security: McCarthyism. I'd think the Senate would be a little more sensitive about allowing it, and praising those who promote it as essential free speech.

But I feel confident that if the source of the leak turns out to be an Administration official, Democrats will suddenly see it my way, and demand the press cooperate fully with the grand jury probe.

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