Nice guys stay out of jail
Time Decides to Hand Over Notes of Writer Facing Prison
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: June 30, 2005
Time magazine said today that it would provide documents concerning the confidential sources of one of its reporters to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. agent, Valerie Plame. In a statement, Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.'s editor in chief, said: "The same Constitution that protects the freedom of the press requires obedience to final decisions of the courts and respect for their rulings and judgments. That Time Inc. strongly disagrees with the courts provides no immunity. The innumerable Supreme Court decisions in which even presidents have followed orders with which they strongly disagreed evidences that our nation lives by the rule of law and that none of us is above it."
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down appeals from the magazine, one of its reporters, Matthew Cooper, and a reporter for The New York Times, Judith Miller.
On Wednesday, Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the Federal District Court in Washington said he would order the reporters jailed for up to 120 days if they do not agree to testify before the grand jury in the meantime. He also said that he would impose substantial fines on the magazine.
The decision by a major news organization to disclose the identities of its confidential sources appears to be without precedent in living memory.
In an interview on CNN, Mr. Pearlstine said the threat of fines played no role in the magazine's thinking. "We are not above the law," he said.
The magazine made its decision over the objections of its reporter, Mr. Cooper.
The documents to be turned over include Mr. Cooper's notes. Mr. Pearlstine said that the magazine's move should make moot the threat of jail time for Mr. Cooper.
I guess we live in an age of cowards now. But then, Matt Cooper is a nice guy, so he shouldn't go to jail.
But the upside: oh Scooter, I guess you better get that bid in for a Presidential pardon early.
posted by Steve @ 11:56:00 AM