Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper should be jailed for contempt

Two reporters facing up to 18 months in jail for refusing to testify about their sources lost another round in the courts yesterday. The reporters, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/usa/2001/10/15/18031.html ' target=_blank>Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, now have only one appeal left, to the United States Supreme Court.

The decision, by the full federal appeals court in Washington, declined to reconsider a unanimous decision of a three-judge panel of the court.

The earlier decision, in February, required the reporters to testify about conversations they may have had with government officials concerning Valerie Plame, an undercover C.I.A. agent whose identity was first disclosed by Robert Novak, the syndicated columnist.

Seven judges participated in yesterday's decision, which noted only that a majority of the court's active judges had not voted in favor of a rehearing. Two active judges did not participate, for unexplained reasons. One judge, David S. Tatel, published an explanatory concurrence. None of the judges noted a dissent, reports the New York Times.

The decision by the full &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/14120_torture.html ' target=_blank>U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington accelerates the pace of the conflict between a special prosecutor and the two reporters, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of the New York Times. It also serves as a firm rebuke to major news organizations and First Amendment groups who had weighed in on the case, legal experts said.

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