Sparked the Leak Investigation
The federal investigation into
whether Bush administration officials leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent
began sometime after syndicated columnist Robert Novak first revealed the officer's
name in a July 14, 2003 column.
Novak's article, which cited "two
administration officials" as his source, appeared about a week after the
agent's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, publicly challenged President
Bush's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to buy uranium
from the African nation of Niger.
Down the Suspected Leak and Journalists' Sources
To bring charges under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, investigators
must prove that the accused intentionally revealed the name of an undercover U.S.
agent, knowing that the agent was a covert officer and the officer's identity
was not disclosed earlier. The special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, has subpoenaed
a number of journalists to answer questions regarding the case, arguing in court
that journalists and their conversations with administration officials are of
unique importance in finding the source of the leak.
Debate over Protecting Sources
Terence Smith discusses
the merits of a prosecutor's right to subpoena reporters in criminal grand jury
investigations and a journalist's privilege to protect the identities of confidential
sources with former U.S. attorney Joseph DiGenova and First Amendment lawyer Floyd
Abrams, who represented Time magazine and Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper
in August 2004.
Jim Lehrer and four historians review past cases of alleged presidential leaks
to the media.
Prewar Intelligence |
look at the re-examination of prewar intelligence of Iraq's alleged weapons of
mass destruction and the U.S. government's case for war against former Iraqi leader