Raise your hand if you’re Sure

Well, well. Amidst various irreconcileable decisions upholding the Ten Commandments at a state capitol but not in a courthouse, the Supreme Court declined to accept an appeal from two reporters challenging an order that they disclose the source (most likely Scooter Libby of Dick Cheney’s office, though this is merely “the smart money”) who disclosed to them (and Robert Novak, who went public with it) that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative.
Frankly, I have never been all that big for reporters’ “constitutional right to protect their sources;” I tend to think it is abused far more than it benefits anyone. In any event, in this case, we cross the line of “anonymous source who needs anonymity to protect himself so the public can know.” What we had here was a calculated leak– indeed, an official source who is using anonymity not for the benefit of “the public’s right to know”, but to get away with the crime of outing a covert operative for partisan purposes, i.e., treason.
As such, even if I liked the policy, it doesn’t apply here: the “source” was not a whistleblower, but a criminal, whose very communication was the crime itself.
Most ironic that this is happening in our current era, where journalism largely consists of “objectively” printing “both sides'” respective press releases, and not bothering with irritatingly slow and expensive actual reporting. Frankly, given that one of the reporters who will almost certainly go to jail is the loathsome war criminal Judith Miller (along with Matthew Cooper of Time, with whom I am less familiar), well, let’s just say that the primary value: uprooting treason in the White House, supercedes some unenumerated constitutional right that the journalistic “profession” is doing its damndest to show us that it doesn’t really need anyway. Not that I’m an end justifies the means kind of guy; I’m not.
I’d certainly prefer to see Judith Miller facing a war crimes tribunal for her deliberate recitation of Administration propaganda about non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. If she goes to jail, however, for misuse of a legal principal, at least karma will be served some.