[JURIST] A federal judge has ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity. Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, called the order a "draconian act." AP has more.
4:33 PM ET – Bloomberg has an updated report; a New York Times story is here. In April, Judith Miller spoke to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club on the subject of press freedom in the post-9/11 world. JURIST's Monitor provides recorded audio of that talk.
5:05 PM ET – National Press Club [profession site] President Rick Dunham has issued a statement saying
It is tragic that, in pursuit of offenses real or imagined, a federal prosecutor sees fit to imprison a journalist who is simply doing her job and adhering to the basic ethical principles of her profession. It is a sad perversion of justice to send Judith Miller to jail for protecting a confidential source in a case where no crime has yet been alleged and no story was ever written by Ms. Miller.Read the full text of Dunham's statement.
To fulfill the role envisioned by the framers of the First Amendment, the press simply cannot be viewed as agents of the government or investigative tools of government prosecutors. Sending Judith Miller to jail is excessive and unnecessary. It will serve no purpose other than to use the press as an easy scapegoat for the investigation's shortcomings.