Judith Miller

Judy Miller

Nice to see her back in the news – if ANYTHING should be an eye opener it is this. Miller has just spent her 75th day behind bars for, as Mediachannel.org put it standing on a principle protected by the laws of 49 states and the District of Columbia – honoring the promise of confidentiality made to a source.

While this story elicits a sensation of shock and dismay everytime it pops on my screen, Editor and Publisher printed it like-it-is today:

Miller is one of several reporters sought by Fitzgerald as part of his long-running investigation into who leaked the name of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, whose identity was first revealed by columnist Robert Novak in 2003. Miller, who never wrote a story about Plame’s identity, had been subpoenaed along with Time magazine writer Matthew Cooper last year.

Cooper avoided jail after revealing that his source was White House aide Karl Rove, a revelation that came about after Rove consented to be identified. Miller, however, has continued to decline to name her source or sources.

Judy Miller will most likely be set free when the jury closes its case in late October, however, Peter Fitzgerald has not let up on his investigation and one could only hope that he stands up to his reputation as a tough prosecutor and U.S. district attorney stickler and blow up this case in the name of justice and free speech. Unfortunately, he seems to be sidetracked by what appear to be more urgent matters closer to home, those being (but hardly represent what the Miller / Plame / Rove / Novak case does to the country and world) the corruption trials of former Illinois Governor George Ryan and current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich .

Paul McMasters opines. He is the ombudsman of the First Amendment Center.

And Daniel Schorr, in the September 23 Christian Science Monitor.

Meanwhile, this past weekend marked one year in a Beijing jail for New York Times reporter Zhao Yang, who reported that a Chinese politician was stepping down before the official announcement.

another day in Iraq

In FURTHER New York Times news, An Iraqi journalist working for The New York Times was killed after men claiming to be police officers abducted him from his home in the southern city of Basra, the newspaper announced Monday