Thursday, October 13, 2005

Richard Cohen on Judith Miller and Choice Restaurant Tables

Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, writing about the Valerie Plame case, conflates the value of a free press with the price of a free lunch.
If anything good comes out of the Iraq war, it has to be a realization that bad things can happen to good people when the administration -- any administration -- is in sole control of knowledge and those who know the truth are afraid to speak up. This -- this creepy silence -- will be the consequence of dusting off rarely used statutes to still the tongues of leakers and intimidate the press in its pursuit of truth, fame and choice restaurant tables. Apres Miller comes moi.
This is why I want Fitzgerald to leave now. Do not bring trivial charges -- nothing about conspiracies, please -- and nothing about official secrets, most of which are known to hairdressers, mistresses and dog walkers all over town.
Cohen has it exactly backwards. He forgets that it was Joseph Wilson who spoke up and that Valerie Plame's name was revealed as an act of official retribution. Cohen wants to be free to enjoy expense account meals and inside access while trivializing the notion of secrecy itself. His head is so firmly encased in the Beltway bubble that he can't see past his next power lunch.

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