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It really is important for journalists to protect sources. That's the only way news about corruption and other abuses of power is ever going to get out. Still, it has always seemed like the journalists in the Plame case were on the wrong side of the issue, protecting the perpetrators ("highly placed administration officials") at the expense of the whistleblower (Wilson). It doesn't help that several of the people involved (Novak, Miller) have histories of being unduly credulous where the administration is concerned. Jay Rosen has lots of discussion and links on the whole sorry mess, and what it implies for journalism.
I try to avoid paranoia, but I'm really starting to wonder about the current administration. Between wanting to find a way for the military to act as first responders in natural disasters, and suggesting that the military could enforce strict quarantines in a flu epidemic, you would think the man was looking for an excuse to impose martial law. I guess overwhelming military force always looks like a good way to fix stuff, even though, as events in Iraq have shown, things are never quite as simple as that.
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