Aug 02 2006

Setting The Stage For NSA-Gate

Published by at 12:08 am under All General Discussions

The NY Times just lost a huge court battle to protect their sources from federal criminal investigations (and I am enjoying the idea of citing the NY Times as the source on this news). In a case going back to 2001 and run by Plame-Gate prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, the NY Times is being forced – again – to cough up information regarding illegal leaks of classified information:

A federal prosecutor may inspect the telephone records of two New York Times reporters in an effort to identify their confidential sources, a federal appeals court in New York ruled yesterday.

The 2-to-1 decision, from a court historically sympathetic to claims that journalists should be entitled to protect their sources, reversed a lower court and dealt a further setback to news organizations, which have lately been on a losing streak in the federal courts.

The case arose from a Chicago grand jury’s investigation into who told the two reporters, Judith Miller and Philip Shenon, about actions the government was planning to take against two Islamic charities, Holy Land Foundation in Texas and Global Relief Foundation in Illinois. Though the government contended that calls from the reporters tipped off the charities to impending raids and asset seizures, the investigation appears to be focused on identifying the reporters’ sources.

Combined with the Plame Game decisions where reporters were required to testify and turn over notes and documents, the NY Times is facing modern precedence that will come back to haunt them in the investigation into who leaked the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program and the SWIFT Terrorist Financial Tracking effort. Those now subpoened to testify in front of the NSA leak grand jury must be truly shaken by this decision. Because it is now absolutely clear there is no reporter-leaker protection for them to hide behind. And if rumors are true, there are some on Capitol Hill who will be more than shaken. They will be lucky if only their careers are ruined.

Update:: Much more on this news at Just One Minute – along with extensive debate in the comments section! Don’t miss it.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Setting The Stage For NSA-Gate”

  1. MerryJ1 says:

    Off point, but speaking of ‘ruined careers,’ Drudge has an item about a defamation suit filed against Murtha, by the Marine squad leader from the Haditha incident. According to the Marine and his lawyer, the purpose of the suit is to force Murtha to divulge his DoD (or wherever) source(s) for his assertions about Haditha.

    Murtha’s tirade was not during sessions, so his ‘congressional member’ protection has some big, fat holes, perfect size for driving a lawsuit through. Heh.

  2. carol johnson says:


    Murtha’s tirade was not during sessions, so his ‘congressional member’ protection has some big, fat holes, perfect size for driving a lawsuit through. Heh.


    I heard that too. All I can say is Whooo Hoooo!! Go get ’em Marine!


  3. Snapple says:

    The link to “Just One Minute” is not working.

  4. Barbara says:

    I will never understand how anyone thinks a private or corporal or whatever such as Murtha who was in combat can be thought to have the experience of actiually running a war, making decisions, etc. based on his service. I can asssure anyone that these people who served have my admiration but they made no decisions at all and have no experience. It would equate with me fixing the toilet from a how to book and suddenly I am a master plumber.