Skip to comments.In Leak Case, Reporters Lack Shield For Sources
Posted on 12/05/2004 4:30:47 PM PST by Snapple
One intriguing possibility, noted by several lawyers familiar with the case, is that Novak may have invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and that Fitzgerald has not yet chosen to give him immunity from prosecution to compel his testimony.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Neither he nor Fitzgerald has been willing to say whether Novak has even been subpoenaed or, if so, whether he has cooperated.
self-incrimination for what crime?
Both [special prosecutor]Fitzgerald and James Hamilton, Novak's attorney, declined to comment for this article. Hamilton said Novak "will not comment."
Judith Miller did not. She and her people might be trying to find out what happened with Novak. I'm glad Novak and his lawyer are not talking.
All Miller has to do is cooperate.
Disclosing CIA operatives is a crime for everyone, not just for a government official. I think.
Please use the published title when posting an article
"Some journalists have wondered why Fitzgerald is going after secondary targets, giving Novak, a conservative friendly to the White House, a pass. But we don't know that Novak hasn't been subpoenaed too. And it might be that Fitzgerald thinks the best way to get Novak, a tough guy, to break is to make him responsible for the martyrdom of other journalists."http://www.chireader.com/hottype/2004/040820_1.html
but Novak disclosed that in a column - if they wanted to arrest Novak for that, they have the evidence they need in the column he wrote. if this story is true, there has to be more to it than that.
LEAK PROBABLY CAME FROM WHITE HOUSE
New Twist in Plame Game: When Did Novak Column Move on the Wires?
By E&P Staff
Published: November 26, 2004 11:00 AM ET
NEW YORK An article by Susan Schmidt in Fridays Washington Post introduced a new twist in the federal probe of the leaking to the press of the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.
According to Schmidt, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has gotten bogged down in trying to determine exactly when several journalists learned about Plames identity, most likely from someone at the White House. The focus has been on whether White House aides leaked the name before it appeared anywhere in the press or merely spread the news after it surfaced.
Since it has long been known that her name first appeared in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert Novak, it would seem to be relatively easy to determine a before and after.
But there's a catch. According to Schmidt, While Novak's column did not run until Monday, July 14, it could have been seen by people in the White House or the media as early as Friday, July 11, when Creators Syndicate distributed it over the Associated Press wire.
Schmidt continues: The timing could be a critical element in assessing whether classified information was illegally disclosed. If White House aides directed reporters to information that had already been published by Novak, they may not have disclosed classified information. ...
As part of his efforts, Fitzgerald has been battling reporters in court, demanding that they disclose conversations with confidential sources.
One witnesss lawyer told the Post that prosecutors seem to continue to be focused on which White House officials talked to members of the press, and whether that was pre- or post-Novak. That's where they are struggling."
In questioning reporters, prosecutors have shown a particular interest in the events of July 12, reporters and their attorneys have said, according to the Post: Word that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA had by then circulated to some media organizations, though the origin of the information is not publicly known.
If Miller and Cooper could implicate Republicans, this would all have been done with long ago - - they would have sung like canaries. But they have not. Therefore, it seems obvious that some rats have been caught in a trap. Go, Fitz.
Here is the link to the law that covers disclosing CIA operatives
Maybe Novak didn't actually talk to the White House/high administration official. Maybe another reporter got the information and told him what was said.
Novak does report what other people claim officials said. For example, in the case of the "leak" Pillar supposedly made at a dinner party, Novak wasn't there. His source was supposedly at the party and then tells Noval what Pillar supposedly said.
Why do you think Miller is a Democrat? She was a huge booster of the War in Iraq and claimed there were WMD.
She seems tight with the neocons, not the democrats.
It isn't just government officials who can be imprisoned for leaking the names of indercover officials:
"Disclosure of information by persons who learn identity of covert agents as result of having access to classified information
Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identify of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing
that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined
not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
(see the link about the Identities Act)
Could it be because she works for the New York Times, where Republicans are unwelcome in the newsroom?
As a journalist I am disgusted by this entire mess. I certainly would not go to jail to protect a source who committed treason by outing a NOC.
This outing jeopardized our already shaky "intelligence" apparatus and I cannot believe Novak took part in it. I don't want to believe that someone in the White House would commit treason this way but it looks that way more and more as this drags on.
By the way, I call it treason because that's the term the first President Bush used when referring to such an act. I think he had it right.
I wish the current President Bush would show more of a desire to get to the bottom of this mess. Instead, he apparently hired a criminal lawyer. Not a good sign.
From what I read at the time it seemed that it was common knowledge in the elite Washington social circle that Plame worked at the CIA, her husband had openly talked about it beforehand and the "outrage" for naming her was an attempt to smear Republicans. Maybe Novak's mistake was underestimating how vile the rats can be.
Since Valerie Plame was "outed" years before this by a CIA turncoat (which is why she was pulled from the field, and brought back to the US), it continues to puzzle me why Novak's column information is considered to be illegal.
Maybe he testified without being compelled.
There are many more journalists that have been called than just Miller. Tim Russert, for example, was threatened with contempt before reaching a deal and giving some testimony.
Another who did the say was Matt Cooper with TIME. Intriguingly enough, after making his initial appearance he was subpoened again and is again facing contempt along with Miller.
There are more reporters that have been called, too.
You'd think this would tip off the WaPo that perhaps the investigation is into another aspect of journalistic skullduggery along with the rogue CIA yellowcake lies. Then again, the WaPo could be being deliberately deceitful here.