- Paul Walker secretly bought $9K wedding ring for Iraq vet
- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
Journalists must reveal sources in anthrax case
(AP) Five journalists must identify the government officials who leaked them details about a scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks, a federal judge said yesterday.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the reporters to cooperate with Steven J. Hatfill, who accused the Justice Department and FBI of violating the federal Privacy Act by giving the press information about the FBI's investigation of him.
The reporters named in the opinion are Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek; Allan Lengel of The Washington Post; Toni Locy, formerly of USA Today; and James Stewart, formerly of CBS News.
Judge Walton denied Mr. Hatfill's request to demand information from the media companies ABC, The Washington Post, Newsweek, CBS, the Associated Press, the Baltimore Sun and the New York Times.
Mr. Hatfill's attorneys want the reporters to reveal the identities of law-enforcement officials who were cited anonymously in stories about the investigation. The journalists gave depositions under a court order but refused to reveal their sources, arguing that the First Amendment and a federal common-law privilege shield them from having to disclose the names.
Judge Walton disagreed. He said D.C. federal courts have historically denied a common-law reporter's privilege and said he would not bring into being such a privilege.
Creating such a privilege in this case would have the perverse effect of handicapping a plaintiff whose good name was destroyed by government leaks, Judge Walton said. The reporters' fear that testifying would chill the flow of information, Judge Walton said, is outweighed by the Privacy Act lawsuit.
Five persons were killed and 17 sickened by anthrax that was mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the press in New York and Florida just weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Mr. Hatfill, who worked at the Army's infectious diseases laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., from 1997 to 1999, was publicly identified as a person of interest in the investigation by Attorney General John Ashcroft.
The case remains unsolved.
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the carpool lane.
White House pets gone wild!