The New York Times' A1 feature today: "Leak Inquiries Show How Wide a Net U.S. Cast." Sweeping investigations into leaks of secret information now involve hundreds of government employees, and have created a powerful chilling effect for press. A major blow to our right-to-know: government officials now fear being investigated for simply speaking with a reporter.
Some officials are now declining to take calls from certain reporters, concerned that any contact may lead to investigation. Some complain of being taken from their offices to endure uncomfortable questioning. And the government officials typically must pay for lawyers themselves, unlike reporters for large news organizations whose companies provide legal representation.