Feeds

Supremes deputize all US journos

Take this badge off of me...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

American journalists have effectively been conscripted into the business of law enforcement as a result of the US Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal in the case of reporters Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine and Judith Miller of the New York Times.

The two had been ordered incarcerated for eighteen months by district judge Thomas Hogan on charges of civil contempt back in October, because they refused to cooperate in a grand jury investigation into the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

Both reporters are suspected of having spoken with people in government who have information about the original source of the leak, who committed a crime under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. They have refused to turn over their notes, citing guarantees of anonymity they gave to their sources.

Right-wing darling and incontinent Bush Administration booster Robert Novak is the reporter who originally published Plame's identity, but he has not been ordered to identify his sources, perhaps because he already ratted them out voluntarily.

Although Cooper's and Miller's work is secondary to Novak's original story, the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, insists upon examining their notes. Cooper and Miller argued that the First Amendment protects them and their anonymous sources, which makes perfect sense, because it is impossible for the press to be free, as required by the Bill of Rights, if journalists cannot gather news of criminal activity without ratting out their sources.

Thanks to the Supreme Court's spinelessness in defending the First Amendment against government authoritarianism - the very situation for which it was crafted in the first place - Cooper and Miller will return to district court, where the judge will select the detention facility in which to punish them for doing their jobs.

Meanwhile, to all potential anonymous sources involved in official malfeasance or criminal activity, we have a simple closing message: "Federal agent! Freeze, Dirtbag!"

Man, we've been waiting ages to say that. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.