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U.S. Government steps up its efforts to track down journalist sources.

A former government official was recently presented with presented with extensive phone records of his interactions with James Risen, a reporter for the New York Times and author of the book, “State of War.”

The investigation concerns a series of leaks, reported by Risen in State of War and with associate Eric Lichtblau in the Times, which lead to the discovery of an “extensive, off-the-books domestic spying program” later confirmed by the Bush Administration. Justice Department officials confirmed that prosecutors subpoenaed Risen’s phone records in an effort to ferret out his sources, and sources close to the investigation indicated that at least one former government official has already been questioned.

The Times’ source, a grand jury witness speaking on anonymity, said he was not clear whose records the DoJ is accessing, noting that it’s possible that investigators could target Risen’s phone records, or the records of the officials he may have spoken with. The Times also reports that it has, thus far, not received any subpoenas, though it notes that it’s possible the government could subpoena its phone company without the giving the Times anynotice.

Justice Department officials served Risen a subpoena earlier this year January, demanding the sources for a specific chapter in State of War that details a CIA plan to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear program.

Joel Kurtzberg, the New York attorney representing Risen on behalf of his employer and publisher, declined to comment.

Risen’s reporting set a climate that helped propel evidence of an AT&T/NSA wiretapping alliance into the limelight, galvanizing the civil rights groups to action and setting telcos and the Bush Administration aflame. The government is currently moving to crush the resulting lawsuits by invoking the State Secrets privilege, which have the potential of quickly ending the battle.

His articles – which won him a shared Pulitzer Prize in 2006 – are just the latest target of a government seemingly intent on punishing reporters that fail to cooperate. Times reporter Judith Miller spent nearly three months in jail after refusing to divulge her sources in a leak that identified a C.I.A. operative, and California freelance reporter Josh Wolf spent over half a year in jail after he refused to testify before a grand jury and hand over videotapes of an anarchist rally in San Francisco that turned violent. In Wolf’s case, a three-judge panel in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that his behavior was in defiance of the “long-established obligation of a reporter to comply with grand jury subpoenas.”

Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press executive director Lucy A. Daiglish warned reporters of the Bush Administration’s “really egregious” efforts at intimidation, telling press members to spur technology and “do your reporting the old fashioned way – meet your sources on a park bench.”



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RE: Wait a minute...
By Viditor on 4/17/2008 9:04:08 PM , Rating: 0
I'M parsing language???
Pleeeeease...

1. Katz has not been overturned in any way (and the only "negative history" is from the opinion of ultra right-wing conservatives).

2. It matters not a whit WHERE the taps are made... it is illegal to have a warrantless tap on the phone of a US citizen anywhere in the world .

3. Warden, Md. Penitentiary v. Hayden is the biggest stretch I can think of in this case!
The claim in the case was:

A police officer may seize mere evidence—evidence that is not an instrumentality of a crime, the fruits of a crime, or contraband—found in the course of a valid warrantless search conducted in a criminal suspect's home immediately after a hot pursuit of the suspect.

The mere fact that the administration is performing these taps as a planned matter of course tells us that Hayden shouldn't apply at all!
I would guess that once the Administration's case is finally allowed to go to court (if it is), it will be absolutely destroyed as most of their other assertions have.

4. Your attempt to put words in my mouth like
"You would probably be one of the first to cry like: those after 9/11, "What did you know and when did you know it?""
This is absolutely wrong...
I think that giving up even a tiny amount of freedom (which these wiretaps do) for this wild goose chase is worse than 9/11 ever was...

We lost 3000 good people on 9/11 (3 of whom I counted as friends).
I think those victims would be more shocked at the reprocussions than the event itself though...since then:

1. We've lost more than 4000 young soldiers

2. We've had a new doctrine of preemptive war introduced, saying that it's OK for us to kill people if we get scared, even if what scares us turns out to be false.

3. We've had the suspension of Habeas Corpus at Gitmo

4. The checks and balances of the Judicial system (one of the foundations of our government) has been ignored on numerous occasions (firing/appointing Federal Attys for political gain, bypassing the FISA court, etc...)

5. Torture has been condoned by the Administration and the Justice Department


RE: Wait a minute...
By MrWonka on 4/22/2008 8:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
You really need to stop mumbling; cause’ I can’t understand a word you’re saying.


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