Rand researcher Daniel Ellsberg leaked 7,000 pages of a classified Vietnam War expose that revealed the private doubts of Defense Department planners. The New York Times and other papers published excerpts and refused to disclose their source, and the Supreme Court rejected the government's attempt to stop the papers from publishing.
1972: Branzburg vs. Hayes
In 1969, the Louisville Courier-Journal published stories by Paul Branzburg featuring the confessions of two anonymous hashish-makers and several drug users. He refused to identify them before a grand jury. The Supreme Court ruled that reporters have no right to withhold their sources from grand juries.
1972: "Deep Throat"
Named by Washington Post Managing Editor Howard Simons after the popular 1972 porn movie, this government official was instrumental in guiding reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in their investigation of Watergate. Last week, Vanity Fair magazine revealed that Deep Throat was then-Deputy FBI Director W. Mark Felt.
Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke's gripping story about an 8-year-old heroin addict identified only as Jimmy won her a Pulitzer Prize. But Jimmy was fictional, the prize was returned, and Cooke was fired.
2001: Vanessa Leggett
Freelance journalist Leggett spent 168 days in jail for refusing to disclose her sources or release her notes for a book about the 1997 shooting death of Houston socialite Doris Angleton. Leggett was released when the grand jury's term ended.
2003: Ahmad Chalabi
An Iraqi exile and onetime Pentagon favorite, Chalabi was an occasional anonymous source for New York Times reporter Judith Miller in since-discredited stories on weapons of mass destruction. The paper admitted that "information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged."
2004: Jack Kelley
USA Today reporter Kelley used fake anonymous sources, including Cuban-refugee smugglers, an FBI counterterrorism agent and a Pentagon intelligence expert. He was exposed and fired after another reporter sent an anonymous letter to the paper's management.
2005: Valerie Plame
In 2003, an unknown person or persons leaked to several reporters that Valerie Plame, the wife of a Bush administration critic, was a covert CIA operative. The leak (possibly a felony) was published by syndicated columnist Robert Novak. A grand jury subpoenaed two reporters who did not publish Plame's name, the New York Times' Miller and Time magazine's Matthew Cooper, seeking their sources. They are refusing to name them.