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Jack Kelly Spells It Out

Monday, December 26, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Irish Pennants’ Jack Kelly writes in the Toledo Blade:

It is despicable, but not illegal, for the news media to publish vital national secrets leaked to them. But the leakers have committed a felony.

Those who have demanded severe punishment for whoever it was who told reporters that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA have been remarkably forgiving about who leaked the existence of the NSA intercept program, which – like the earlier leak of secret CIA prisons for al-Qaeda bigwigs and unlike the Plame kerfuffle – has done serious harm to our national security.

But fortunately, by clapping New York Times reporter Judith Miller in irons until she talked, overzealous special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has set a valuable precedent.

Attorney General Gonzales should subpoena Mr. Risen and Mr. Lichtblau, and have them cited for contempt of court if they do not disclose their source or sources. Maybe they could share Judy Miller’s old cell.

(HT: Michelle Malkin)

Earlier today I noted that most of the scribbling class has zero, real acquaintance with the intelligence community. (Conversations in bars don’t count. Clearances count.) Kelly, by contrast, is a former aide to Senators John Tower and Bill Armstrong –serious men who spent a lot of of their careers building the nation’s security– and a Marine, a paratrooper, and a fine handler of words. Kelly’s contempt for those in our current profession who relay the bulletins from lawbreakers is shared by every serious journalist who would rather make their reputations on other than the endangerment of the country.

(BTW: Jack’s better half, Pamela Winnick, is a Columbia Law grad, a columnist, and author of A Jealous God, which deserves a very wide read in the aftermath of the Dover case.)

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