In June, five media companies took the unprecedented action of participating in a settlement to resolve a lawsuit between a former federal employee and the U.S. government. When they agreed to pay nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee $750,000, the contempt fines levied against their reporters for protecting their confidential sources was lifted.
I was appalled that the news organizations participated in the settlement.
But I doubt I would have found a better resolution.
Lee, you will recall, sued the U.S. Departments of Energy and Justice and the FBI in 2000 claiming that they violated his rights under the Privacy Act by publicly releasing information about him. At the …