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New York Times Reporter, Author Faces Jail Time If He Refuses to Testify About Book Leak

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A New York Times reporter may face jail time if he refuses to testify about who leaked information to him for a book he wrote on the botched CIA operation in Iran.

The New York Times reports that James Risen, author of “State of War,” has steadfastly refused to testify, but he has run out of legal challenges, leading up to “the most serious confrontation between the government and the press in recent history.”

Reporter James Risen

Risen faces the possibility of prison time if he refuses to testify.

The government’s handling of the case will set a precedent, experts said.

“If the government proceeds and pursues the subpoena, especially if Mr. Risen goes to jail or is fined at some intolerable level, it will deal a withering blow to reporting that runs against the government’s wishes,” said Steven Aftergood, who studies government secrecy for the nonprofit Federation of American Scientists.

New York Times journalist Judith Miller was jailed for 85 days for refusing to testify about a CIA leak in 2005, the last time a reporter was imprisoned for not divulging information.


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