Sunday, September 03, 2006

Round-up on Armitage-Plame-Fitzgerald

if anyone cares.

For me, the most interesting thing about the whole mess (courtesy of your tax dollars) is the journalistic preening.

Three weeks before Armitage spoke to Novak, he made a similar, offhand disclosure of Plame's employment to Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward, the former colleague added. Armitage disclosed the conversation to Fitzgerald after Woodward reminded him of it in October 2005, and Woodward subsequently gave a deposition about the conversation.

"Of course, I have nothing to say about sources," Woodward said yesterday.

The pompousness and arrogance of this is breath-taking. Journalists seem to believe they are protected by divine right, like priests, or long tradition, like doctors or lawyers. They are wrong. And shield laws that protect them are a mistake. They are ordinary citizens, and should be obliged to obey the laws--just like everyone else.

The whole idea of anonymous sources needs to be scrutinized. It encourages tale-bearing by those with an axe to grind. A criminal defending himself in a court of law gets to confront his accusers. Why not a government official similarly accused?

I hope this will be the end of special prosecutors. Not one of them has done any good, and they have done a world of harm. Just ask Scooter Libby.

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