Friday, December 31, 2004

Who the Fuck Does Robert Novak Think He Is?

As always, use Bug Me Not to avoid giving the NYT your first born

I've written about this before, but it still baffles me. I think it's perhaps the most egregious example of this regime's complete lack of concern for the "reality based" community, i.e., those of us actually concerned with, on the one hand, the possibility that this regime deliberately sabotaged ongoing undercover investigations into WMD proliferation and, on the other hand, the fact that this regime is tossing journalists in jail. The NYT article above provides some insight into this perplexing question.

Seriously, why is this fuck still not talking? One journalism ethics professor put it this way:

"What I see is a distaste for what Novak did, for this whole sorry mess, and an antipathy towards the type of journalism he practices and a perception that he practices it on behalf of an administration many people don't like," said Edward Wasserman, the Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University. "But there's no upside to him talking. There's nothing exculpatory he can say, nothing that he can do to ease the pressure off them."
No, there is in fact something he can do to ease the pressure on his two journalistic colleagues who've gone to jail: fucking reveal who leaked. True, that doesn't get the other journalists around their contempt charges, but it'd be pretty silly to continue to hold them when there's no longer anything to hide and their contempt (itself a debatable issue) is meaningless.

And of course there remains the minor issue of who revealed the deep cover identity of a weapons of mass destruction specialist, something he may not be ethically bound from a journalistic standpoint to help rectify, but something one would hope he'd do if for no other reason than out of sanity and a concern for the safety of our nation. But, unfortunately, most nowadays would say: "You digress."

One the one hand, I completely agree that journalists should not be compelled to reveal their sources except in the most extreme of circumstances. On the other hand I think "outing" a NOC agent working on WMD qualifies as just such an extreme circumstance, especially as the outing was obviously a direct response by the current regime to the political damage caused by her husband's now famous NYT op ed.

So the question remains: why has the one person who knows for certain who leaked Ms Plume's identity not under more pressure? Hell, by this regime's standards someone who destroyed a long established network keeping us safe from WMD should be held in as an enemy combatant in solitary without counsel and facing a "special" military tribunal with the power to hand out death sentences.

Hat tip to the Agonist.


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