Friday, February 25, 2005

Steve Chapman explains that no one is above the law

The press goes too far in Plame case

CHICAGO - The news media have sided strongly with reporters Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper, who are threatened with jail unless they disclose their sources in the Valerie Plame case. Right now, that decision is starting to look like Custer's Last Stand. It's a battle the press can't win and doesn't deserve to win.

The investigation stems from a column written by Robert Novak in which he blew the cover of CIA operative Valerie Plame. She is the wife of a former ambassador who had been critical of the U.S. case for invading Iraq, and Mr. Novak said he had gotten her name from "two senior administration officials." Mr. Cooper wrote an item stating that "some government officials" had provided the same information to Time. Ms. Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, spoke with a leaker as well but didn't write a story.

Valerie Plame was the case officer in charge of monitoring the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Because of her betrayal her network has collapsed and our ability to protect ourselves from such an attacked has been severely damaged.

No allied intelligence agency will share information with a nation who betrays its own case officer over a political vendetta. That will continue until the perpetrators (let’s not call them leakers) are brought to justice.

Everyday this case is unresolved leaves our nation in danger.

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