Monday, May 01, 2006

No Immunity for Complicit Journalists

Michael Barone has an interesting article at Real Clear Politics about the blowback the media is experiencing as a result of the various CIA leak investigations. Of course, the media spear-headed this campaign with its calls for investigations into the "outing" of CIA employee Valerie Plame, the unfortunate wife of that self-congratulatory liar, Joe Wilson.

...there have been precious few prosecutions of leakers of classified information in our history and none of journalists. And don't journalists have a right to protect their sources? The answer to the last question is yes, in some states, but no in federal law...

April 28 was the anniversary of Aldrich Ames' last day of freedom. He was sentenced to life in prison for leaking classified information to the Soviet Union. That was Ames' big mistake. These days his scheme would've worked much better by using journalists.

I don't want to make light of Ames' treason, which led to the execution of at least nine CIA agents in the Soviet Union, but I do want to make a point. If we had an Ames-like individual working a similar names for money or plans for money scheme today, he would only need to make payment arrangements with those desiring the information, then leak the information to the media.

Imagine a scenario where we had a spy amongst General Tommy Franks' advisors in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. The spy makes all the circumspect financial arrangements with Saddam Hussein's goverment, then leaks the information to an eager journalist with a very anti-administration slant to it. It's not hard to imagine the headline, Achtung! Bush Plans Blitzkrieg on Baghdad! followed by an article with enough details of the operation mixed in with the usual quotes from the average Iraqis that don't want to die and the U.S. generals that say such a plan wouldn't work.

Do I think journalists deserve special protection? Do I think there should be some kind of special journalist-spy privilege protect by law? Hell NO! I think journalists should be dragged out of their corporate offices and into FBI interrogation rooms until we have the names of every traitorous son of a bitch in our intelligence agencies.

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