Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jim Risen's Book Drops

Titled "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration", Risen's book was released today. The major revelation of the book has already been the subject of extensive reporting by the New York Times --the National Security Agency's eavesdropping of Americans' conversations without obtaining warrants from a special court-- and now the MSM is acting as if it were Risen's book publicist.

ABC's Note reports on Jim Risen's appearance this morning on the Today Show:

On NBC's "Today" show this morning, New York Times scribe Jim Risen told Katie Couric that he hopes he will not have to reveal his sources to a grand jury and declared his story to be the exact opposite of the Plame case. Risen claims his sources revealed information for the best possible reasons and he went on to declare those sources "patriots."

Very, very predictable. Risen wants to make distinctions between his sources and the leakers in the Valerie Plame case. The problem is, leakers of classified information can talk about their motives all they want, but their actions are criminal offenses. Distinctions are irrelevant in this case.

Power Line considers the issue:
There is a sense in which Risen is correct in saying that the leakers in the two cases are exact opposites: Scooter Libby is a Republican, and the anti-Bush bureaucrats who leaked classified national security information to Risen and his colleagues are, in all likelihood, Democrats. But Risen's suggestion that his leakers, unlike Scooter Libby, are "patriots," is risible. As we've said before, nearly all leakers believe that their motives are pure. The Plame leakers were motivated by their admirable desire to counter lies that were being told by administration critics, especially Joe Wilson.

One possibly legitimate distinction between the two groups is that the Plame leakers may not have known that there was anything secret about Valerie Plame's CIA employment--prosecutor Fitzgerald apparently concluded that she was not a covert agent--while there is no doubt that the NSA leakers were well aware that they were compromising highly classified intelligence operations.

So as I've said, the leakers' motives don't really matter, only their actions do. They have revealed highly classified information that is not meant for public use, and in doing so have compromised our national security.

Consequently, they have committed a crime, and should be prosecuted accordingly, then sent to jail to serve for their crimes.