Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Plame Problem

So there was a reporter who, using some sort of inside source, outed a secret CIA operative... putting her life and the lives of other operatives in danger. The reason for this outing was apparently a bit of political revenge against the husband of the agent. That's the set-up.

Now there are some reporters being told to reveal their secret source for the information, and being threatened with jail if they don't.

I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think the whole "secret source" thing is very important in reporting, and forcing a reporter to reveal an anonymous source seems to me to be very wrong. I can't help but respect a reporter who is willing to go to jail rather than reveal a source.

However. The crime the reporters committed by printing that information was severe enough, I think the reporters, and their editors, who reported that information should go to jail for endangering American lives. They should all do hard time for their crime. And don't get me wrong, revealing a secret operative out of petty revenge is a horrible crime.

Maybe if they are faced with hard time for their immoral and illegal act, they might be more inclined to name the name of the scumbag who gave them the illegal information so he can spend some time in prison with them. It also might make some reporters think twice before printing information that can hurt people. But I'm absolutely convinced that no matter what they say or who they implicate, the reporters who reveal Plame's name should spend time in jail for their crime... but not for protecting their source.