Face it folks, Matt Cooper and Judy Miller are doing exactly what their consciences dictate that they should do. Rather than blast them, as some have, we should offer them thanks and encouragement. They are putting up one hell of a fight for one of the remaining freedoms that we have. Yes, the situation is awful, yes it means that the guilty are still hidden. But that cannot mask the larger purpose, the right to a free press.
It has become clear to most Kossacks that the Bush administration does NOT care about the rights of the citizens they represent. The Patriot Act allows them to poke thru our libary card and credit histories WITHOUT us knowing that they are doing it. They don't need a reason. The Bush administration, and GOP members of Congress have had constituents thrown out of events FUNDED BY THEIR TAX DOLLARS, simply b/c of their partisan background. Let's do a step by step of the Bill of Rights, to see what the Bush/Cheney administration has done.
1st amendment- Free Speech has been paid for with tax dollars from everyone, but only given to political supporters. Freedom of religion has been given only to Christians. Free Press is on attack now, more on that in a sec. Freedom of assembly? Sure, if you don't mind being harassed. Petition the goverment? Only if your Congressman feels like listening.
4th Amendment- Protection against illegal search and seizure? Can we say Patriot Act?
5th Amendment- No person shall be held without an indictment except in cases arriving IN the land or naval forces or in the militia when in ACTUAL SERVICE in time of war or Public Danger. Nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without DUE PROCESS of law.
Can ANYONE say Jose Padilla? Is he not an AMERICAN? Bush/co don't seem to care one bit.
6th Amendment- In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a SPEEDY and public trial, by an Impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have cumpulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Again, can we say Jose Padilla?
8th Amendment- Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Let's see. Lockup in solitary confinement for years? The Death Penalty is becoming more common. Do you think 3 years of your life would be an excessive bail or fine? I would.
So among the amendments in the Bill of Rights that actually spell out rights, the Bush Administration has complied with exactly two of them. We can thank Bush for allowing criminals to obtain assault weapons, and for not forcing us to house foreign soldiers, as our forefathers were forced to do. I note, there are 3 years left of the Bush Administration.
Anyone wish to make a case that the Bill of Rights are not threatened? Well, with this in mind, I think everyone here at Dailykos, every progressive, moderate and conservative in this country should thank, fight for, at least realize the bravery and toughness of these two reporters. They may be going to jail for up to 1.5 years, away from family, friends, and their careers snatched from them. They are doing the right thing. One of the last rights we enjoy is a free press. And yes, SOME IN THE MEDIA still get it right.
Let's see what countries have not had a free press lately. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, N. Korea, China, Libya, the Soviet Union (when it existed) Mussolini's Italy (when it existed) Hitler's Germany (when it existed) current Russia (Putin's gvmnt controls the media). Boy, talk about good company eh?
Confidential sources are the backbone of a free press. THey allow reporters to do their jobs without fear of persecution, and they allow folks to speak to reporters without fear of persecution. You guys want John Ashcroft/Alberto Gonzales investigating why CNN ran a story negative towards Bush? Just wait. Within 10 years, if it's not stopped, we will have that kind of country.
Miller and Cooper's sources may have the info on who leaked Plame's name. They may not. We don't know. In a FREE DEMOCRACY, you cannot break laws in order to catch lawbreakers. We are not Saudi Arabia.
Cooper and Miller are doing a very brave thing, at great personal cost to themselves. Their careers, indeed their lives are on the line. Rather than focus wrath on them for not being snitches, let's focus the wrath on where it should be. Some son of a bitch highly ranked in the Bush White House leaked that name. Focus your ire on him, and his spineless coward cronies. They are at fault. It is their justice department that is pursuing two reporters rather than investigating who may have actually leaked the name. They are the ones putting two reporters in jail b/c they won't rat out their sources, instead of going after the journalist who published the name, who just happens to be a conservative Republican. I don't think Novak should be forced to speak either, but if they want people to reveal sources, why in God's name go after these two and not Bob Novak?
A free and independent Press is one of our last rights. We lose that right if Cooper and Miller talk. Focus your anger on the Bush administration. THEY SHOULD BE TALKING, not prosecuting reporters who won't. They should be outing the traitor(s) who leaked Valerie Plame's ID, not demanding that reporters rat out their sources. The second Cooper and Miller do that, news will be much harder to come by in this country, for people will risk losing their jobs and possible prosecution, for speaking to the media. You know this. Stand for Cooper and Miller. Fire the deserved anger at the cowards who leaked the information, and the cowards at the WH who demand that Cooper and Miller do the investigation themselves and take the fall for it. That's disgraceful.