First The Verdict, Then The Testimony
Looks like the media has changed its mind on the matter. Funny what holding a couple of reporters in contempt for withholding evidence from a grand jury will do.
A federal court should first determine whether a crime has been committed in the disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's name before prosecutors are allowed to continue seeking testimony from journalists about their confidential sources, the nation's largest news organizations and journalism groups asserted in a court filing yesterday.
The 40-page brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, argues that there is "ample evidence . . . to doubt that a crime has been committed" in the case, which centers on the question of whether Bush administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame in the summer of 2003. Plame's name was published first by syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak and later by other publications.
The friend-of-the-court brief was filed by 36 news organizations, including The Washington Post and major broadcast and cable television news networks, in support of reporters at the New York Times and Time magazine who face possible jail time for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the allegations. Those two organizations filed a petition Tuesday asking the full appeals court to review the case.
Let's get this straight -- now they are not sure whether or not there is a crime even though they told us there was? And they want the court to determine whether or not there was a crime BEFORE they will give the evidence necessary to indict someone? Seems to me they have the whole process ass-backwards. The testimony in question is necessary to possibly secure an indictment so that a trial can be held to determine if anyone is guilty of anything in the release of Ms. Plame's name.