- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It is heartening to know that there are still judges, such as Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., who value the essence of reasonable argument and understand the crucial nature of confidential sources that are vital to the legitimacy and efficacy of objective journalism (“Judge upholds a reporter’s right to protect sources,” Page 1, Friday).

As both a freelance writer and a public servant in the law enforcement arena, I understand the importance of confidential sources in both realms. I also recognize how important it is to maintain the bond of trust and confidentiality that is woven between the source and the recipient of the information.

Bill Gertz was doing what he does best: his job of investigating and reporting an important story by bringing to light a situation about a Chinese espionage case that the public had the right to know.

In order to do so, he had no choice but to maintain and hold fast to the confidentiality of his sources. and rightfully so. Importantly, the issues surrounding the case involving Mr. Gertz clearly point to the necessity of a federal shield law, and Congress should unhesitatingly approve one in an expeditious manner.

Mr. Gertz not only should be applauded for his talent as a journalist, but also deserves approbation for his solid stance to uphold the tenets of a free press that is essential to the backbone of a democracy. For a job well done, Mr. Gertz deserves - what we say in the law enforcement sector - an “Attaboy.”


Adjunct professor

Criminal Justice


George Mason University

Fairfax, Va.

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