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Archive for July 5th, 2014

Rem Rieder: Leave New York Times Reporter Jim Risen Alone

Reporter James Risen

By Rem Rieder
USA Today

The New York Times ran a story the other day about a dilemma facing the Obama administration: whether to pursue its efforts to force Times reporter James Risen to testify in its prosecution of a former CIA agent suspected of leaking classified material.

If it does so, it’s clear that Risen will refuse to violate his promise of confidentiality to his source and face the prospect of going to jail, reinforcing the administration’s image as no friend of the First Amendment or powerful investigative reporting. If it backs off, it clearly would disappoint the prosecutors in the case of Jeffrey Sterling and those in the intelligence community who relish the administration’s unprecedented zeal in pursuing those who leak classified information.

Well, I can make this simple: Team Obama, leave James Risen alone. Don’t turn legitimate public-interest journalism into a criminal activity.

To read complete column click here.