Patrick Buchanan asks if journalists deserve the Pulitzer Prize or prison sentences for knowingly disseminating classified information of the U.S. Government. In "Of Pulitzer and Treason" Buchanan writes:
Journalists are rising to her defense, describing [Mary] McCarthy as a whistle-blower -- i.e., someone who calls the government to account for wrongdoing. But there is no evidence President Bush or U.S. agencies were doing anything criminal by using secret sites provided by NATO allies to interrogate terror suspects plotting to murder Americans.
If U.S. officials are engaged in misconduct or atrocities at these bases -- i.e., the torture of prisoners -- no one has said so. Reportedly, an E.U. investigation of the U.S. secret sites in Europe turned up nothing.
What does it say about American journalism that it gives its most prestigious prizes to reporters who acquire and reveal illicitly leaked U.S. secrets, when the result is to damage the U.S. government in a time of war? Both the Times and Post got their Pulitzers for fencing secrets of the U.S. government, criminally leaked by disloyal public servants they continue to protect.
Query: If McCarthy deserves firing, disgrace and possibly prison for what she did, does the Post deserve congratulations for collaborating with and covering up her infidelity, deceit and possible criminality?
Are journalists above the law? Are they entitled to publish secrets, the leaking of which can put their sources in jail for imperiling the national security? What kind of business has journalism become in 2006?
Scooter Libby is to be tried for perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating whether he leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, in a White House campaign to discredit war critic Joe Wilson. Larry Franklin of the Pentagon got 12 years for leaking military secrets to the Israeli lobby.
McCarthy deserves the same treatment. She should be prosecuted and, if convicted, spend the next decade in prison. Whether this war was a mistake or not, no one has a right to sabotage the war effort.
Not even journalists.
We concur. It seems journalists are keeping their eye on two prizes. Bring down the Bush Administration at all costs and winning the Pulitzer. American safety is not a part of their paradigm.