So two senior Bush administration officials leak top secret information to some reporters. Conservative Robert Novak, not known for silly things like scruples, runs with the story, outing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative.
Well, revealing the identity of CIA agents can be a crime, so there's an investigation and the heat comes down on two non-conservative reporters who allegedly got the same tips but chose not to run with the story. What about conservative bloviator Novak? Oh, he's off Scott-free.
The Supreme Court's refusal to overturn contempt charges against reporters Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper is not all that surprising, as it's in line with precedent:
A 1972 decision of the Supreme Court, Branzburg v. Hayes, held that the First Amendment does not allow reporters to refuse to discuss their confidential sources in the face of grand jury subpoenas.
What's also not surprising, but rather outrageous all the same, is that Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald is so hot to go after Miller and Cooper, but not Novak. Apparently Novak is a "made man," with enough wingnut credentials to avoid any Administrative heat. Either that or Novak spilled the beans -- in which case Fitzgerald has the names he needs and does not need to jail two reporters.
Mr. Fitzgerald appears to assert that Mr. Cooper, who wrote about Ms. Plame after the Novak column, and Ms. Miller, who never wrote on the subject, have information that may point to criminal conduct by a government official.
Does any of this sound a bit like Guantanamo? Someone might know something so lock them up until they say what we want to hear?
This is simply un-American. But then, this is Washington where ideals of justice are tossed aside in the games of power.
In another Supreme Court decision, displaying the Ten Commandments in courtrooms is unconstitutional. Conservative leaders are already howling about how they are oppressed. There argument amounts to this:
If the conservatives cannot force their religion upon everyone else, then they are being oppressed.
In other words, they want to be able to tell everybody how to pray and worship. They want to gut the Constitution. Like the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Ayatollahs in Iran, they want to establish a theocracy of power, where they control us all.
That, too, is un-American.