Now, let’s focus on what a “Whistleblower” is. If you check the Merriam Webster (on-line) Dictionary, a Whistleblower is someone who reveals a secret. The implication, however, can be someone acting for either a good or a bad reason. But, do we really want to pass Laws that shield criminal activity?
Whistleblowers can be in Government, like the Women and Men who bypassed Military Channels regarding Sexual Harassment and testified before Congress; the Corporate Sector, such as Lilly Ledbetter who, for years, received less pay for comparable performance and sued; or in other organizations, people such as Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict XVI’s Butler, who leaked papers about improprieties and mismanagement within the Vatican’s Roman Curia. (The Pope pardoned Mr. Gabriele as he left office.) Whistleblowers come in all shapes and sizes, and are provoked by various different circumstance.
Now, let’s focus on Judith Miller, a former Reporter for the NY Times, who had information about Ms. Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative. Even though Ms. Miller did not publish Ms. Plame’s name and CIA role, she was jailed for not divulging her source(s) to a Grand Jury. I had written about Ms. Plame in a prior Post, as linked: https://thetruthoncommonsense.com/2013/04/25/high-crimes-in-the-prior-administration/.
Robert Novak reported, in The Washington Post, that Ms. Plame was a CIA operative, specializing in weapons of mass destruction, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/20/AR2005102000874_pf.html. The important point here is that Ms. Miller’s source was I. “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff. In fact, Mr. Libby was convicted on several counts for divulging this classified information and was sentenced to 30 years in prison; however, his sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush, as he left office.
It is a crime to reveal that someone is a covert operative (“spy”) in any U.S. intelligence agency. In fact, I seriously question whether Mr. Libby should have had access to such information. He might have the had the necessary clearance; however, did he really have (in intelligence parlance) the “need to know”?
Also, Mr. Libby might not have been the only person within the Administration who was involved in planning to out Ms. Plame. So, shielding someone who is committing a crime should definitely not be afforded any protection whatsoever under a Shield Law.