Skip to comments.Miller and Cooper Have Their Day in Court, Again (PLAME/WILSON)
Posted on 12/08/2004 6:03:25 PM PST by cyncooper
NEW YORK A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit heard arguments today on behalf of two reporters facing jail for refusing to reveal sources in the Valerie Plame case but took no action, according to Lucy Dalglish, executive director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, who attended the hearing.
"They were highly skeptical," Dalglish said about the judges, who questioned lawyers on both sides of the case for more than an hour. "They had very probing questions of the government, but also wanted to know why journalists should have a privilege that others do not."
The reporters under scrutiny, Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, attended the hearing but did not speak during the proceedings, according to Dalglish. Both were found in contempt of court weeks ago for refusing to reveal the source who leaked the identity of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame to them.
Although neither reporter was responsible for revealing Plame's identity, they are among numerous reporters who have been targeted in a federal probe seeking to determine who leaked the Plame's identity, which was first revealed by columnist Robert Novak last year.
Floyd Abrams, the famed attorney who represented the Times, was questioned for about 45 minutes by the judges, according to Dalglish, who said government attorneys were under questioning for only 30 minutes. "I think they were enjoying skewering" Abrams, Dalglish said. She added that the judges gave no indication about when they would offer a ruling. "They could decide they want it by Christmas," she said. "Or it could take months."
Abrams could not be reached for comment.
Ping to the little we know so far about today's hearing.
It's very hard to keep up with these things, but I think Judith Miller may be one of the few decent reporters at the New York Slimes. On the whole most reporters deserve to be jailed, but life isn't always fair.
If I had my druthers, it would be Maureen Dowd. Or, maybe, . . . well, I can think of a couple of dozen others, right off the top of my head.
I agree. In that spirit (with my bias noted) my working theory is Miller is needed more as a witness with information to provide rather than a participant in skullduggery.
She wants to claim a journalistic immunity from testafying based on (what I think is a misguided) principle, but I've respected her.
The longer this case drags on for the journalists, the more it looks like someone in the administration trapped these reporters into contempt.
They can't be happy if the source is in the administration. Yet, if they say anything, they have to find another line of work.
I do not believe that the "administration" official who leaked the name is acutally a Bush supporter. "Administration" probably includes people in agencies like the State Dept. who do not like President Bush at all. I just don't believe that lefty reporters would go through all this mess to protect a conservative source.
I don't know much about this writer, but I have read that this case is not so much about revealing the source of the leak of the Valerie Plame identity, as it is revealing the leaker in the CIA, who is probably the same CIA insider who leaked information about an upcoming raid on a Muslim terrorist sponsoring group to the NYT, who passed the info on to the Muslim group before the raid took place. There was also another leak that I can't remember. So this case is more about finding the politicized CIA leaker than it is about the Valerie Plame case.
The name was "leaked" (actually, it was her employment situation as in "CIA" that was disclosed) by administration officials (not in the WH, from what I can piece together) in order to answer the question "Why was Wilson of all people sent to Niger?", not out of retaliation against the Wilsons, as they allege.
There are big question marks if she was undercover or had been for quite some time, too.
I really hope we find out eventually because I am very intrigued and think the Wilsons and their cohorts in this story were up to no good, for this administration and therefore this country.
Yes, this is not Iran Contra. The media is strangely silent ...
I heard plame wasnt even a covert operative and that wilson had her pic on his website before this happened. I wonder if this is true??
Wilson definitely had his wife listed on his bio online as "the former Valerie Plame". I hadn't heard her picture was posted, though. But that's why I always say when they say "leaked her name", they must mean "leaked her employer" because clearly her name was known.
As to the undercover business, Novak said his source at the CIA said she was NOT undercover. Other sources told other media types she was. However, those or similar sources who said the latter also claimed Plame had no role in recommending Wilson for the Niger trip and that turned out to be false. She wrote a memo recommending him. Which buttresses the rogue faction out to undermine the Bush administration theory.
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