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December 28, 2006

THE ARMY SUBPOENAS JOURNALISTS and the journalists don't like it:

"It's not a reporter's job to participate in the prosecution of her own sources,'' said Sarah Olson, an Oakland freelance journalist and radio producer. "When you force a journalist to participate, you run the risk of turning the journalist into an investigative tool of the state.''

But Olson, who received her subpoena Thursday, acknowledged she has no legal grounds to refuse to testify, since she is being asked only to confirm the accuracy of what she wrote about Watada and not to disclose confidential sources or unpublished material.

Normally, she said, "no one, myself included, has any problem verifying the veracity of their reporting.'' The ethical problem in this case, she said, is that she would be aiding the prosecution of one of the dissidents and war critics who regularly trust her to tell their stories to the public.

That's not ethics. That's politics. But many "journalists" seem to confuse the two.