The following is the complete text of an editorial from today's New York Times ... and spare me any talk of the "liberal media" because the irony is that Ms. Miller may well be protecting an administration source that should be revealed as the individual who revealed the identity of a covert CIA operative.
But this is not the way to get this information. Not in this country. We don't jail individuals for something like this in our country. Honest to God, with all we've seen in the past five years under this administration, if statues could cry, Lady Liberty would be sobbing.
Free Judy Miller
The New York Times reporter Judith Miller has now been in jail longer for refusing to testify than any reporter working for a newspaper in America. It is a very long time for her, for her newspaper and for the media. And with each dismal milestone, it becomes more apparent that having her in jail is an embarrassment to a country that is supposed to be revered around the world for its freedoms, especially its First Amendment that provides freedom of the press. Ms. Miller, who went to jail rather than testify in an investigation into the disclosure of an undercover agent's identity, has been in a Virginia jail 55 days as of today.
Last week a Paris-based journalists' organization called Reporters Without Borders sent around an impressive petition in support of Ms. Miller. It was signed by prominent European writers, journalists and thinkers including Günter Grass, Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, and Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish filmmaker. The text should be required reading for the judge, the prosecutor and the White House. "At a time when the most extremist ideas are gaining ground, and when growing numbers of reporters are being killed or taken hostage, arresting a journalist in a democratic country is more than a crime: it's a miscarriage of justice," they wrote.
That was only the latest of the petitions in support of Ms. Miller that have been pouring in from Americans like Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader, and people outside the United States. In one particularly poignant case, reporters in Pakistan - Pakistan, mind you - took time out from their own battles to send messages of support.
It's time for the authorities who jailed Ms. Miller to recognize that continued incarceration is not going to sway a reporter who believes she is making a principled sacrifice. As Jack Nelson, a veteran journalist for The Los Angeles Times, wrote recently: "Without leaks, without anonymity for some sources, a free press loses its ability to act as a check and a balance against the power of government." He cited Watergate, Iran-contra and President Bill Clinton's lies about Monica Lewinsky. If Judith Miller loses this fight, we all lose. This is not about Judith Miller or The Times or the outing of one C.I.A. agent. The jailing of this reporter is about the ability of a free press in America to do its job.