Indict the NY Times for Its Spy Story? It's Possible

January 5th, 2006 11:58 AM
Harvey Silvergate writes that although the Bush administration is trying to go after those in the government who leaked the wiretap story to the New York Times, the government could just as easily indict those who work for the paper itself.

A variety of federal statutes, from the Espionage Act on down, give Bush ample means to prosecute the Times reporters who got the scoop, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, as well as the staff editors who facilitated publication. Even Executive Editor Bill Keller and Publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr., could become targets — a startling possibility, just the threat of which would serve as a deterrent to the entire Fourth Estate.

Silvergate himself is no fan of Bush and says the Times revealed "reckless conduct" by the White House.

The conditions have to be right in order to indict.

There is little reason to suppose that the administration would refrain from indicting the newspaper, its reporters, and its higher-ups unless the political downside was too substantial.
Considering that the story has increased Bush's poll numbers, there's little chance the New York Times will be prosecuted.