On Thursday, The Times published exclusive details about the identity of the whistle-blower whose claims led Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump this week. (The article reported that the whistle-blower is a C.I.A. officer who was previously detailed to work at the White House and had expertise on Ukraine.)
Many readers, including some who work in national security and intelligence, have criticized The Times’s decision to publish the details, saying it potentially put the person’s life in danger and may have a chilling effect on would-be whistle-blowers.
We took their concerns to Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, who responded to them in a discussion with the Reader Center:
The president and some of his supporters have attacked the credibility of the whistle-blower, who has presented information that has touched off a landmark impeachment proceeding. The president himself has called the whistle-blower’s account a “political hack job.”
We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible.
We welcome your thoughts in the comments. We’ll be reading them.
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