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6/26/2005

1st Amendment for Republicans Only

Two reporters who worked on the Valarie Plame outing story may land in jail later this week, but not the reporter who initially outed her in the first place. From the LA Times,

"Cooper and Miller have been the most prominent in a recent pageant of journalists jailed or fined for ignoring court orders to reveal sources. Cooper has gained acclaim as Time's dogged, wisecracking White House correspondent; Miller has been praised, and criticized, for pushing forward stories about weapons of mass destruction."

Even the Russians pity our loss of freedom under the Bush dictatoship.

"Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, recently described how a colleague explained to a group of Russian journalists visiting the Times how Miller might go to jail for refusing to reveal the identity of confidential sources.

'The Russians were flabbergasted,' Keller said, 'since they have grown up regarding our freedoms with envy.'"

Here is a quick rundown of the events that got us to this point.

"The convoluted series of events that could put Cooper and Miller in jail began to unfold two years ago, when retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV accused President Bush of 'misrepresenting the facts on an issue that was a fundamental justification for going to war.'

The former ambassador was one of the first to debunk Bush's accusation in the 2003 State of the Union address that Saddam had sought uranium in Africa for nuclear weapons.

The administration made a concerted effort to undermine Wilson's charge. Sources supporting Bush said that Wilson had made a cursory review in Niger and that he was able to make the trip only because of nepotism by his wife, a official assigned to monitor weapons of mass destruction.

These claims were floated to several reporters, but columnist Robert Novak was the first to name Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.

That, in turn, attracted the attention of then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft who ordered an investigation into whether administration officials broke the law by identifying a covert agent, in violation of the Intelligence Act of 1980. Ashcroft appointed a special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald. He has aggressively pursued the identity of the administration leakers.

Several prominent journalists who worked on the Plame story received subpoenas. A few — such as Walter Pincus of the Washington Post and Tim Russert of NBC — avoided the possibility of jail when their sources agreed the journalists no longer had to keep their identities secret. It remains a mystery whether Novak had to testify. He has declined to comment."

This whole thing is making Bush look like a man who lies (which I guess he does) so much that pretty soon he starts to contradict himself in order to keep covering up the lies. He gets pissed at Wilson and leaks the info about his wife to White House mouthpiece Novak who is all to willing to out her in public. Then Bush realizes that the whole thing may have been illegal, so he sicks a special prosecutor on whoever leaked the info. Amazingly enough this special prosecutor can't figure out who did it, so instead of asking Novak to give up his source, they go to a couple of non-Republican reporters who simply wrote follow up stories on what Novak wrote, and want them to give up their sources. When they refuse, this really pisses Bush off and so he throws them in jail, essentially for not telling Bush what he already knows, which is who outed Valarie Plame.

Gitmo isn't the only place where this bunch resembles Nazi's. The next group of people who should be nervous as hell is University professors, then artists, then YOU!

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