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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Knowledgeable Screed

Posted by on July 10 at 0:03 AM

Re: Sub-Zero and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Do I feel completely chastened for Slogging (and for endlessly pontificating to my office mates) that Judith Miller should reveal the W.H. attack dog rather than protect her “source” ?
Not exactly. I am feeling slightly less strident about it, though. The news out of Cleveland is stunning and troubling. Here’s the deal, however: Cleveland’s Plain Dealer didn’t have to pull its stories. The Supreme Court made it clear in the Pentagon Papers case that newspapers can run with stories based on illegally obtained documents. While that doesn’t necessarily protect the source, there was another precedent established in the landmark Pentagon Papers case. The source, Daniel Ellsburg, was not punished. In the aftermath of the case, the court found that the Nixon Plumbers (Howard Hunt, G.Gordon Liddy et al) went after Ellsburg in a fit of retaliation. (Gross Governmental misconduct, the Court said.) It strikes me that if the Plain Dealer stories are as important as the paper’s editors have indicated, whistle blower protections would go a long way to inoculate the source. In the final convoluted act of Miller’s hall-of-mirrors defense: Just imagine Rove trying to claim “whistle blower” status.
Meanwhile, dig the latest on Rove from David Corn.

p.s. Yes, I know about the Cincinnati Enquirer/Chiquita Banana fiasco from the late ’90s. However, that case did not result in a ruling, but rather a settlement. No precedent.