Friday, February 25, 2011

Petty payback seems to be an official policy over at the "Justice" Department

It sure looks like Eric Holder's Justice Department is blatantly harassing New York Times reporter James Risen by going all Big Brother on the journalist in retaliation for not revealing his sources for a legitimate news story:

"Federal investigators trying to find out who leaked information about a CIA attempt to disrupt Iran's nuclear program obtained a New York Times reporter’s three private credit reports, examined his personal bank records and obtained information about his phone calls and travel, according to a new court filing."

Risen is not suspected of any criminal wrongdoing, by the way.  So why all the apparently unlawful digging into his personal life?  Well, it appears the Feds are simply just mad at Risen for not telling them what they want to hear, which is that a former CIA worker named Jeffrey Sterling leaked to Risen the material in question.  Sterling has been indicted, but that didn't happen until Risen had successfully quashed several subpoenas seeking to compel him to reveal his sources, which sure makes the criminal charge against Sterling look suspiciously like just one more pressure tactic to convince Risen to give up the goods.

Under current Justice policy the Attorney General must personally approve all third-party subpoenas connected to journalists and their stories.  Risen and his lawyers have repeatedly asked if the rules were followed in his case but have not received an answer to date, according to the story.


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