Obama Threatens Pulitzer Prize-Winner

pic: public domain (cc)

pic: public domain (cc)

Matthew Rothschild writes at the Progressive:

James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winner at the New York Times, may face jail time on a federal contempt of court charge if he doesn’t release the identity of one of his confidential sources.

The Bush Administration’s Justice Department tried to pry the information out of him, but ultimately relented.

Now President Obama, who vowed to restore our civil liberties when he ran for the White House in 2000, is letting his Justice Department pursue Risen even more aggressively than Bush did.

The information concerns a source for a chapter in Risen’s terrific 2006 book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” That chapter dealt with a scheme to give the Iranians faulty blueprints for a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. government alleges that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA employee, whom the Justice Department is prosecuting under the Espionage Act.

Risen all along has invoked his privilege as a journalist under the First Amendment not to reveal his source. A lower court agreed with him, but an appellate court sided with Obama’s Justice Department. In a sharp dissenting opinion, Judge Roger Gregory, who was appointed both by President Clinton and by President George W. Bush, sided with Risen. Judge Gregory said the appellate court’s decision was “contrary to the will and wisdom of our Founders.”

In January Risen, appealed that decision to the Supreme Court. In his petition for a writ of certiorari, Risen wrote:

“If I am forced to testify, it will immediately and substantially harm my ability to gather newsworthy information” and “to secure the trust of sources in the future.”

He elaborated on how dangerous to all journalists this precedent would be: “Compelling journalists to testify about their conversations with confidential sources will inevitably hinder future attempts to obtain cooperation from those or other confidential sources. It creates the inevitable appearance that journalists either are or can be readily converted into an investigative arm of the government. This would seriously compromise journalists’ integrity and independence.”

He said the Obama Administration’s effort to go after him is part of its policy of “aggressively investigating whistleblowers and reporters in a way that will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in the United States.”

Read more here.

31 Comments on "Obama Threatens Pulitzer Prize-Winner"

  1. Number1Framer | May 10, 2014 at 12:39 am |

    I never thought it was possible to have 3rd and 4th terms of Bush until the Obama administration started tossing their weight around.

    • Raygun’s 8th & 9th, you mean?

    • BuzzCoastin | May 10, 2014 at 1:16 am |

      the Bushies and their CIA henchmen
      have been running things at least since Nixon
      when Poppy was the Red Team chairman

      • InfvoCuernos | May 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm |

        I would start that reign even earlier. Who was the the head of the CIA in Dallas when JFK was hit?

        • BuzzCoastin | May 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm |

          Tricky Dick
          a Prescott Bush puppet &
          was Ike’s VP
          butt that was too hard to make succinct
          at least

    • These problems were happening long before Bush. Everyone tries to blame Bush when the problems are much deeper than the president who is just a puppet for the population to squabble over and argue about. The only reason people are only fixated on Bush is It just happens to be part of the agenda was to have the false flag attack of 9/11 during his presidency and to have big brother use it as an excuse to expand the police state and its totalitarian and imperialistic agendas and its spy programs and to restrict more of peoples rights and privacy in the US under the false pretense of some made up “war on terror.”
      Its really ironic too that they call it the war on terror considering its arguable that the US government is the largest terrorist organization in the history of mankind.

    • Number1Framer | May 10, 2014 at 1:30 am |

      Strong points from all responders very well taken.

    • Wasn’t he supposed to inspire a lucrative catharsis from angry liberals, when the world was on the brink on economic collapse?

      Seems they’ve opted for Plan B, and never looked back.

    • Just wait until the 12th term.

      • BuzzCoastin | May 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm |

        God I hope it’s Palin
        wee need a good gut busting laugh

        • I would prefer Ted Nugent, but I’d settle for Palin.

          • I say we forget the whole birth certificate thing and just give it to Ah-nold. He was high-larious as The Governator™ of the Great State Of Indigestion KAHLE•FOUR•KNEE•UHHH.

        • Not to mention suspected terrorist waterboarding baptisms.

  2. ‘Now President Obama, who vowed to restore our civil liberties when he ran for the White House in 2000, …’

    Surely 2008?

  3. Ted Heistman | May 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm |

    Yeah but He’s the first black president, plus he’s a democrat. He can’t carry out Fascist activities. This must be spurious.

    • And remember if you point out anything wrong about his presidency or decisions he has made or the previous administrations policies he supports the small minded sheep that have no intellectual ammo to argue with simply scream “thats racist bro.”

      • Plus: “he inherited a mess” & “that’s because the other side block everything he’s trying to do.’

        • Ignore that Congressional Super-Majority™!

          The Blue Dogs™ who owe their seats to Rahm Emanuel™ are either: “DINOs™” or “voting their conscience®”.

          Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.℠

  4. Ted Heistman | May 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

    Barack Obama reminds me of C3PO. George Lucas said that he designed him to have an expressionless face so that the audience could project onto him. whatever emotions they imagined him to be having.

    Barack Obama is this utter tabula rasa/rorsharch test of a POTUS.

    He just stands there with this idiotic blank smile on his face and everyone simply imagines him to be whatever they want him to be.

    • Ted Heistman | May 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm |

      To me his smile is reminiscent of either Fred Astaire or Stan Laurel.

    • erte4wt4etrg | May 10, 2014 at 2:07 pm |

      LOL Human cyborg relations!

    • InfvoCuernos | May 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm |

      Even down to his bi-racial ethnicity. He’s a product.

      • Yes of course the bi-racial ethnicity is all part of the psy ops plan. The government was losing support of minority ethnic groups and literally all it took was for a half black man to win office or run in the first place to gain it back. Shit it doesnt even matter what his policies or beliefs are… back when he was running for president I talked to plenty of black or hispanic people that were voting for him and most of them had no clue about his political ties or plans if he won…their sole reasons for voting for were that he was a democrat and that he was not white.

        Such simpletons we have in this country on both sides of the coin of this false left-right paradigm.

      • BuzzCoastin | May 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm |

        he’z a brand

  5. ”And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” ~George Orwell, 1984

    It’s as though they’re actually using the book to figure-out what to screw-up next. :-/

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