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July 07, 2005

Judith Miller - Traitor, Patriot

Am I the only person that finds this disturbingly ironic?

The Russian Interior Ministry has denounced the arrest of U.S. journalist Judith Miller who refused to reveal her source, Itar-Tass reported Thursday. The decision violates journalistsí rights and the freedom of press, the Ministry said.

Seriously. If it comes to the point where RUSSIA is telling us that we are abusing the rights of our citizens - and they're not just doing it to blow smoke - maybe it's time for a check in, hrm??

We have a leak in our governemnt. A leak that appears to be conveniently active against people who are criticizing the Bush administration. The Grand Jury is trying to force the reporters who broke this particular story to testify and reveal their sources by sending them to jail. HMMMM...sounds a lot like what China does to people they like to call 'threats' and what Russia used to do (and probably still does, don't get me wrong) to critics of the establishment.

What these reporters did for a story is reprehensible. We rely on HUMINT more and more as our technology based sources consistently show failure (what ever happened to those trucks that were creating WMDs, anyway??), and for them to reveal the identity of one of those resources not only puts the agent at risk, but all of their contacts and loved ones world wide. I think the reporters should be taken out back and shot, but NOT because they are protecting their sources. I'll stand the line to defend their right not to reveal them.

And then kick their ass for revealing the identity of the people who really matter. You know, the ones risking their lives everyday to get the actual truth? Whether the intelligence that they produce is used or not is up to the political spin machine that is slowly destorying our constitution word-by-word and line-by-line, but the fact that they are out there everyday endangering themselves, only to be betrayed by an american? WTF?!?

Why isn't there a law against revelaing the identity of a US undercover agent? (Authors note: Turns out there is, but only if you are in a government position.) Seems like that would be useful, huh? If the reporters don't want to pass the buck for that (or at least share in the wealth of the prison term) more power to them. Put them away as the traitors that they are; but DON'T put them in jail over their right to free speech. That is stepping over the line.

"But Chuck, how can you condemn them and defend them in the same 'blog entry?" You might ask.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function". (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Simple. I loathe them for what they've done to the resource in question, but I think that they have the right not to reveal their sources. They should have had the common sense, intelligence and decency to realize that what they were going to do was going to have some pretty serious consequences. You know, like putting the lives of someone and all of their contacts into extreme danger for the sake of a story. How stupid...seriously. These reporters were used like pawns. Ignorant pawns. That being said, they have the right to say what they said, and to protect who they heard it from. I just think that there should be consequences for doing what they did in terms of their story and the facts that they revealed, not for protecting their source of information.

07/09/2005I have a partial retraction for this piece, but I'll write in enroute to Seattle tomorrow

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at July 7, 2005 06:07 PM