Saturday, December 31, 2005
Haul 'em off: It looks like New York Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen are going to be spending some time in the inside of a jail cell. Risen and Lichtblau are the two reporters whose bylines were atop the article revealing a code-word National Security Agency surveillance of al Qaeda. Now, Lichtblau and Risen can't be tossed in jail for the article; the Supreme Court has already ruled on that issue. However, they can be jailed for contempt of court for refusing to name their source -- and I have a feeling they both will.
A couple of related observations:
The Washington Post's lead paragraph on this story reads:
The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into recent disclosures about a controversial domestic eavesdropping program that was secretly authorized by President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, officials said yesterday. [emphasis added]
The Post's second paragraph:
Federal prosecutors will focus their examination on who may have unlawfully disclosed classified information about the program to the New York Times, which reported two weeks ago that Bush had authorized the National Security Agency to monitor the international telephone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens and residents without court-approved warrants, officials said. [emphasis added]
Makes you wonder if they know the difference between interstate and intrastate too.
I've got no link for this because I heard it on the radio coming home. In reporting on this issue, the reporter commented that "Washington insiders" said that revealing the identity of the leaker could be an embarrassment for the Bush administration. I've been mulling this over for an hour and I can't think of a way that that could happen. Do these "insiders" actually believe Karl Rove was the source?