Friday, July 08, 2005

My one and only post on the Plame case

I'm going to address this once because I feel I finally have something substantive to add to the conversation.

Prosecuter Peter Fitzgerald is not a loose cannon. He is not dangerous. He does indeed have brakes. He also knows what he wants and will not stop no matter what ideological impediments there might be. For years he operated here in Chicago as almost the only man in Northern Illinois willing to look deeply at the goings-on in and around City Hall. If he thinks something is wrong and someone broke the law then I'm willing to give him the keys and let him drive.

Fitzgerald was appointed by Rep. Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) to be independent. Peter Fitz was not beholden to the bi-partisan combine that runs the state and built a reputation here as a fair and truth-speaking individual.

As far as my take on the legal issues at play here, I think Miller and Cooper should be applauded for keeping silent. I also think they should go to jail for not revealing their sources. Privilege is broken when one party commits or admits to commiting a felony in my mind. And that's exactly what happened. Someone outed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA agent. That act is a crime. Amplifying that is what the journalists who printed that information is a crime. Yes, I also think Robert Novak should be called on the carpet for this. (Actually I just think Novak should be run out of town on a rail because he's a partisan jackass, but that's a different issue)

Time, Inc. needs to think about repairing their image now that they've taken such a drubbing over handing over Cooper's notes without his consent. What they did was the right thing but it didn't play well and they never told their side of the story effectively. They relied too much on legal issues and didn't pull on enough emotional heartstrings to build the rational for their actions.