NY Times: We're Above the Law

February 1st, 2008 3:08 PM

The mainstream media seems to believe that they are above the law. they feel that anything that they do should be protected by law, no matter if they are engaging in actions that walk close to the line of treason. Today, Breitbart News is reporting that New York Times reporter James Risen, one of the two reporters who blew the whistle on the US government's use of overseas wire-tapping (a program, mind you that has not been declared illegal) is being subpoenaed over his source in a 2006 book on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

According to Breitbart,

Attorney David N. Kelley said the subpoena issued last week seeks the source of information for a chapter of James Risen's book "State of War" regarding CIA efforts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program. Risen plans to fight the subpoena, Kelly said. The reporter has been ordered to appear before the grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Feb. 7. "He has an agreement of confidentiality with his sources and he intends to stand by that in the highest degree of journalistic traditions," Kelley said. Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said the paper "strongly supports Mr. Risen and deplores what seems to be a growing trend of government leak investigations focusing on journalists, particularly in the national security area."

To me, this is simply more evidence that the Press needs to be reined in. Nowhere in the Constitution is the Press appointed to be the arbiter of what information can and should be released to the public. And there is no defense against publishing information, as the Times is so pleased to do, that helps America's enemies and causes the deaths of Americans.

In addition, the Press seems to think that they are a class above ordinary Americans. Where in the Constitution do they find a right to refuse to assist in grand jury investigations? The sourses of many of these reporters are in fact breaking the law, and the reporters are at the very least accomplices in this law-breaking. Especially if the law-breaking, as in the NSA and SWIFT cases hurts the ability of the US government to protect its citizens, then the Press should have absolutely no protection. Unfortunately, Risen and the Times have shown time and again that they would rather see their countrymen killed by Muslim extremists than lift a finger to help his government protect them. And since most of the press is virulently anti-American and anti-George W. Bush, they will try to wrap their actions in the cloak of the First Amendment. However, the First Amendment does not give the press any exemption for the responsibilities of assisting in criminal cases, which is what this is.

Ultimately, I hope that the court sends Risen to jail for a good long time and fines both him and his employer for their disrespect for the law. And this should be more evidence that the Press needs to be taught a sharp lesson about where the First Amendment ends and their responsibilities as American citizens begin. I believe that while we desperately do need a free press, it is time Congress passes a law specifying that if classified information is released like this, then reporters must assist in the subsequent investigations or face trial as accomplices. In addition, they ought to face punitive fines and jail time until they release their sources. Cross-posted on StoneHeads.