From “What was James Rosen thinking?”, Jack Shafer, Reuters:
“Although [Fox News reporter James] Rosen’s story asserts that it is ‘withholding some details about the sources and methods…to avoid compromising sensitive overseas operations,’ the basic detail that the CIA has ‘sources inside North Korea’ privy to its future plans is very compromising stuff all by itself.
“Once the North Koreans read the story, they must have asked if the source of the intel was human or if their communications had been breached. In any event, you can assume that the North Koreans commenced a leak probe that made the U. S. investigation look like the prosecution of a parking ticket.”
I can’t get all wee wee’d up about bumbling James Rosen, who makes Inspector Clouseau look like James Angleton. If the Obama Administration had prosecuted him along with State Department moron Stephen Jin Woo Kim, I’d see the First Amendment threat here, but they didn’t. I do mourn the loss of a source inside North Korea, because God knows they are few and far between, and probably now fewer and farther.
I’m with Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo on this one:
“They [DOJ] took a step I think they should not have taken. But they did so putting together a case against a government employee who more or less in plain sight (thanks to Rosen, in part) leaked what looks to have been highly classified information about US spy networks overseas. It’s difficult for me not to be more shocked by the self-interested preening of fellow journalists over a comically inept reporter and source than the arguable dangers this episode holds for press freedoms. Indeed, I’ve failed. I can’t.
I can’t either.