Monday, September 29

Joe Conason Chimes In

Go, Joe...

While the president's press secretary insists that Rove was not involved in this outrage, I can't help wondering how reporters, editors and bureau chiefs in the capital justify their silence. Tim Russert of NBC and Robin Sproul of ABC both said they wouldn't discuss any matter involving sources. That's an ironclad rule of journalism, up to a point. But what should a journalist do when a source commits a serious crime in his or her presence? What if that crime not only threatens to jeopardize human lives, but also harms U.S. national security in the most profound way?

The spiteful unveiling of Plame very likely did both. She is reported to have worked undercover on matters involving weapons proliferation, an issue of the deepest concern at the moment. Those who exposed her, including Novak, ran a great risk of compromising her sources. In many countries where proliferation is a problem, those people could be killed immediately.
Yes. That's how serious this is. Unlike an oral sex episode which did a bit of damage to a blue dress, this could have meant (and still can mean) PEOPLE BEING KILLED. Is it beginning to sink in now?