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Question on Plame - Rove used the press to commit a crime?

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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:22 PM
Original message
Question on Plame - Rove used the press to commit a crime?
This is a question I can't seem to get a grip on. I feel that the press should have some latitude in keeping sources undercover. Makes sense. Otherwise why would a source go to a reporter if there was fear of retribution from a boss etc BUT --
what if the source is using the reporter to commit a crime, as it seems to be in this case. If the source is committing a crime (outing a CIA agent) and the press prints the name don't they become an accessory to the crime. I don't know if I am making sense. In other words - Rove committed a crime and used the press as his tool and the reporters as his accessories. Doesn't that negate the anonymous source rule?
Ok - didn't make much sense. The point is the press is complicit and therefore should be held accountable - yes or no?
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. The judge apparently agreed with you that the right of the press
to not answer questions in a case of serious national consequence is nada.
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longship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Double-edged sword
It's a First Amendment issue. We want the press to be free to report about these things, even if they do some harm. If we begin extending laws against these things to the press, we chip away at the press's freedom as guaranteed in the Constitution. Consider what harm to the fourth estate of the government would occur if we were to do that.

N.B., If the * administration is to be exposed and held accountable it will be the press who will accomplish it. Don't forget that.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That is my dilemma - a good press is the best defense against
a runaway government. But when the press is used as a tool to commit crimes? But of course a bad administration would have bad laws like the Partriot Act which would make much of what the press would do in this vein illegal. Yes a dilemma.
The Bushies are so good at making a mockery of things by taking them to their extremes (eg promote Blacks & Women = Janice Rogers Brown)
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zbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. An attorney would have no privilege under these circumstances...
why should a journalist? The "leaker" contacted the journalists in order to further the crime of outing a CIA agent. The journalists knew that doing so is a crime. There is no whistleblower protection involved in this matter. (Just my 2 cents).

Found these citations (state laws):


(d) Exceptions. There is no privilege under this rule:

(1) Furtherance of Crime or Fraud. If the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit in the future what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud;
http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/evid/evid-502.htm



CRIME-FRAUD EXCEPTION - 'There is no privilege under this article if the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit a crime or a fraud.' California Evidence Code section 956
http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c180.htm
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Thank you - I was beginning to think I was nuts
The bushies continue to exploit the edges of the law. It sure seems like this is beyond the pale.
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longship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. This is precisely the type of dialog that needs to take place.
There has to be a line drawn which protects us from government excess while protecting the Constitutional freedom of the press. IANAL, so I have no idea where that line should be set. Historically, in these matters the courts have erred on the side of the Constitution, on the side of the press. I think that this is probably wise. So, I think that it's okay for Miller to stand up for the rights of the press at the same time I can be very, very uncomfortable with the circumstances under which this occurs.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. That is my dilemma - a good press is the best defense against
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 03:37 PM by rurallib
a runaway government. But when the press is used as a tool to commit crimes? But of course a bad administration would have bad laws like the Partriot Act which would make much of what the press would do in this vein illegal. Yes a dilemma.
The Bushies are so good at making a mockery of things by taking them to their extremes (eg promote Blacks & Women = Janice Rogers Brown)
sorry double post not sure how to delete
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planetc Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. Yes, he did, although not the entire press
I'm glad you posted this set of questions, because they reflect just what I've been thinking since the beginning. Yes, Rove or one of his stooges used the press to commit a crime. They apparently tried to use the Times, Newsweek, and perhaps other media outlets before they found one "journalist" who would do their bidding. Robert Novak did, and he committed a crime in doing so--but let's leave consideration of his actions and the consequences of them for now. The Times and Newsweek from whatever considerations of prudence or ethics did not do the deed requested of them, and so they did not commit the crime Rove's minions asked of them.

And the Times has been howling about protecting their right to preserve the anonymity of their sources as they always do. Their main justification for refusing to answer the subpoenas issued is that the press must preserve source anonymity *or the government can commit all sorts of crimes and no one will know about it.* Or, "Hello????!!! You are being suckered by your own absolutism into protecting a criminal who holds great power in the current government." The Times predicts in another editorial today that the relationship of trust they have with possible whistle blowers will suffer irreparable damage if they answer the subpoenas. It's as though the Times believes that the public cannot understand the difference between exposing corruption and protecting corruption. To protect the sources of this story is to protect gross corruption, abuse of the power of the federal government, and treason in high office, because we were in two wars when Plame's cover was blown--the endless war on terror and the hot war in Iraq. Potential whistle blowers on other matters will understand --trust me, they'll understand.

It's the Times that refuses to see that they are confronting a government which is so lacking in principle or scruple that there is no constitutional right they will not trash to hold on to power. In fact, the purpose of the Plame outing was to scare other whistle blowers into silence, and we don't know how well that scare tactic has worked.

I think Novak is guilty of abetting a felony and of treason, but the Bush administration are the instigators, and I continue to pray that the prosecutor in this investigation is after the whole story, not just Robert Novak.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thank you for clarifying my somewhat confusing post.
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