News

LEAKY BUSINESS: Panel of experts discuss recent CIA LEAK

Journalists, lawyers, and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno discussed the implications of this summer’s CIA leak. The panel was hosted by the School of Communication on Nov. 24.

Journalism professor Tsitsi Wakhisi organized the event and invited the panel participants whom included NBC 6 senior correspondent Ike Seamans, The Miami Herald Executive Editor Tom Fiedler, The Washington Post Miami Bureau Chief Manuel Roig-Franzia, and Reno.

The panel was moderated by Samuel Terilli of the School of Communication and Rick Vasquez of the Law School.

Terilli began the conversation by summarizing the CIA leak that began when newspaper columnist Robert Novak published a column on July 14 revealing the name of a CIA operative whom is married to retired diplomat Joseph Palmer.

Palmer had publicly criticized President Bush’s assertion in his State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein sought to purchase uranium from Africa. After the column was published, a partisan furor erupted in the Beltway about Novak’s motives for publishing the name of the CIA operative.

Panel members were asked their opinion about whether the Justice Department or a special prosecutor should investigate the case. This prompted a conversation about the nature of leaks and the roles journalists and their sources play in matters regarding national security.

Seamans told the panel that NBC news reporter Andrea Mitchell was offered the same information about the CIA operative as Novak was but Mitchell chose not to report on it.

Seamans agreed with Mitchell that there was no reason to reveal the name and that it was obvious that the White House wanted to hurt someone. With this new information, Vasquez challenged Novak’s claim that his column was not a deliberate leak by the White House to discredit a critic of President Bush.

“Reporters aren’t very smart, we have to be given a lot of information,” said Seamans, commenting on the number of news reports that begin with sources sharing confidential information.

In response, Roig-Franzia joked to the audience.

“God bless disgruntled employees,” he said.

When the journalists on the panel concurred that there was no overriding legal fear in the news media about publishing information like Novak did, Reno commented that there was a big difference in the access reporters have to information regarding the government in Florida thanks to the state’s liberal “Sunshine” law and the restrictions that are in place in Washington D.C.

“There is an irony in a government that is by the people and for the people when people aren’t able to get information about the government,” Reno said.

Horacio Sierra can be contacted at h.sierra@umiami.edu.

December 5, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.