I’m not a lawyer and I’m not going to get into all the history of the Valerie Plame affair. Suffice to say, that the whole topic makes me feel very conflicted. But there are two things that could and should happen that would make all this difficult law go away for a time:

Bush could expose the culprit, fire him, and have Abu Gonzales prosecute him. Or, Miller et al, could rat the son of a bitch out. It seems to me that we are faced with a false choice here.

On the one hand, a crime was committed. This was not an ordinary leak. People may have died as a direct result of this leak. Our ability to track nuclear proliferation may have been undermined. Who knows how serious that could wind up being?

Therefore, it seems to me that the source does not deserve the usual protection afforded to confidential sources. Nor does the source deserve the protection of the Bush administration.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court’s refusal to rule on this case makes the lines fuzzy, and could result in an expansion of behaviors (leaking) that can be considered to fall outside the confidentiality privilege. It might result in even less transparent government.

I think Miller and Cooper should sing. But they should make clear that they are only singing because the source is a criminal, and his/her leak was criminal, and that no reasonable person could see any merit in their expectation of confidentiality, considering the consequences of their actions.

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