Keeping An Eye Out On The Plame Game

In the Matt Cooper Case, Chilling Implications

Should Matt Cooper go to jail?

No one who knows the amiable Time correspondent, who doubles as an amateur stand-up comedian, would think so. Yet he faces imprisonment -- not for lying, cheating or committing journalistic fraud, but for refusing to testify about confidential sources.

Cooper didn't "out" Valerie Plame as a CIA operative -- that was columnist Robert Novak, who refuses to say whether he has been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor investigating which senior Bush administration officials leaked the information. Cooper wrote a follow-up piece questioning whether the administration had "declared war" on Plame's husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson. But a federal judge has held Cooper in contempt of court, and he faces an unspecified period behind bars if Time's appeal fails.


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