New York Times reporter sent to jail in leak case Wed Jul 6, 2005 4:31 PM ET By James Vicini WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A New York Times reporter was jailed on Wednesday after she said she could not break her promise and reveal her confidential source to a grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's name to the media. Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan ordered correspondent Judith Miller to jail immediately and said she must stay there until she agreed to testify or for the rest of the grand jury's term, which lasts through October. Another case involving Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper was resolved when he told the judge he had just received the "express personal consent" of his source to reveal his identity. "Consequently I am prepared to testify," he said. Miller told the judge she did not want to go to jail but had no choice but to protect her source. "If journalists cannot be trusted to keep confidences, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press," she said in a clear, firm voice in the packed courtroom that included her husband and the newspaper's top editor. The grand jury investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, a Justice Department prosecutor, seeks to determine who in the Bush administration leaked the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame in 2003 to the media and whether any laws were violated. Plame's name was leaked, her diplomat husband said, because of his criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war. When Hogan ordered Miller to jail, she showed no emotion, and one of her lawyers put his arm around her shoulder. The judge said confinement at a jail in the Washington, D.C., area might convince her to change her mind and testify. CONFIDENTIAL PLEDGES Miller earlier in the hearing was firm that she would not testify. "I do not make confidential pledges lightly, but when I do I must honor them. If I do not, how can I expect people to accept my assurances," she said. "Your honor, in this case I cannot break my word just to stay out of jail," Miller told the judge during the hearing which lasted about an hour. The case has pitted the news media's traditional use of anonymous sources against the efforts by a federal government prosecutor to investigate a possible crime. Miller said she did not consider herself to be above the law and that she had thought long and hard over the July 4 Independence Day holiday about her decision. She said her decision was necessary to help ensure an independent free press. After Cooper entered the courtroom, he went over to Miller and they briefly hugged. Before the hearing began, perhaps anticipating that she would have to go to jail immediately, Miller handed her necklace to her husband. Her attorney, Robert Bennett, told the judge that Miller had not committed any crimes and that she never even wrote an article about the Plame matter. "After 40 years in this business, I have the nagging feeling that Judy Miller may be the only person to go to jail in this case," Bennett said. No one has been charged as part of the grand jury investigation which began in January 2004. Hogan said that Miller has no choice but to cooperate under the law. He said she was defying the law by not testifying and "may be obstructing justice." In a statement afterward, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of The New York Times, said, "There are times when the greater good of our democracy demands an act of conscience. Judy has chosen such an act in honoring her promise of confidentiality." (Additional reporting by Patricia Wilson)