WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled against The New York Times on Monday, refusing to block the government from reviewing telephone records of two Times reporters in a leak investigation concerning a terrorism-funding probe.
The one-sentence order came in a First Amendment battle that involves stories written in 2001 by Times reporters Judith Miller and Philip Shenon. The stories revealed the government's plans to freeze the assets of two Islamic charities, the Holy Land Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to track down the reporters' confidential sources for the stories. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment on the Supreme Court's order.
Back last year when we were all dreaming of Fitzmas, Armando notably, along with others, went against the grain, arguing that jailing Judy Miller for CIA/Plame, would be a bad idea, and set a lousy precedent that would chill freedom of speech. In this front page post and others, Armando layed out the slippery slope case of Judy Miller being jailed, and what could follow after. It's ironic in a way, that it is Fitzgerald again, and once more Judy Miller proving Armando prophetic.
I was one of the ones screaming at Armando that basically, Judy deserved it. It was shortsighted. Fitzgerald went out like a lamb on Fitzmas, with only freaking Scooter Libby suffering any potential consequences, and now he is combing through legitimate contacts by the members of the press and the Supreme Court just validated it.
In retrospect, it seems like quite the faustian bargain to get Scooter's head on a pike in exchange for the government to be able to chill free speech between sources and journalists. Are they going to have to meet in parks, go to letter drops, or meet in smoky bars to actually reveal information to reporters that the public should know? The chilling effect of this ruling, and Fitzgerald's campaign on this issue will make the already docile media needing a doctor on hand to continually check for a pulse.
Judy Miller's phone records should not be revealed. Patrick Fitzgerald is wrong. There, I said it. Now, I can go back to hating the neo-con princess for her many flaws. But, would any of the plamegate afficianados want to comment on if they think it was now worth it? Was getting Scooter Libby in court worth what Fitzgerald is NOW doing?