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David Corn (Tom Paine): Novak Squealed

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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:58 PM
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David Corn (Tom Paine): Novak Squealed
From TomPaine.com
Dated Thursday July 7


Novak Squealed
By David Corn

As Judith Miller of The New York Times sits in jail for refusing to reveal a source to Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the Bush administration leak that identified CIA officer Valerie Wilson (nee Plame), the question remains, why is Robert Novak, the conservative columnist who published the original leak, enjoying his freedom?

Not that Novak should be a target for prosecution. Under U.S. lawparticularly the Intelligence Identities Protection Actonly U.S. government officials who intentionally disclose the identity of an American intelligence official are fair game for a prosecutor. The journalist to whom they leak cannot be prosecuted. This is a good thing. We do not want reporters being tossed into the hoosegow for publishing secrets obtained from the government. England has an official secrets act; we former colonists do not. (I wish more people understood the legal distinction between Novak's leakers and Novak. I receive loads of e-mails from people who indignantly ask why Fitzgerald hasn't charged Novak with a crime.) But the issue is this: While other reporters have resolved to be imprisoned to protect their sourceswhether these sources deserve protection or notwhat has Novak done? The obvious answer: He has squealed.

To be fair, we don't know for sure. Novak has declined to answer any questions about the investigation and his interactions with Fitzgerald. But here are two pretty solid assumptions.
  1. Fitzgerald wants to know the name of the two unidentified Bush "senior administration officials" Novak cited in his July 14, 2003, column that outed Valerie Wilson, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a White House critic. That's the whole point of his investigation.
  2. Fitzgerald at some point must have asked Novak to name names. After all, he requested that Matt Cooper of Time and Miller reveal their sources. (Cooper narrowly avoided going to prison on Wednesday when his sourceKarl Rove?gave him permission to testify before Fitzgerald's grand jury. Previously, Time magazine turned over his notes and e-mails to Fitzgerald.)


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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 07:03 PM
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1. A reasonable supposition.
A more interesting question is why has he not be punished?
Not that I have the answer mind you, but is that not the Rovian norm?
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