New York Times reporter James Risen, author of “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration”, won’t give up one of his sources, and now that the Supreme Court won’t hear his case, he could be facing some serious prison time. The Washington Post has a run-down on what’s likely to happen now:
So what does this mean for Risen’s case? Will the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter be sent to prison? What does he have to say about the decision? And how does this fit into the Obama administration’s war on leaks? Here’s a primer on what is going on, where things stand and what could happen next.
Who is James Risen?
Risen is a reporter for the New York Times who writes about national security issues. In 2006, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about the Bush administration’s domestic wiretapping program. He continues to write about national security, and published a front-page story Sunday about how the National Security Agency is intercepting massive numbers of images shared to social media platforms to use in facial recognition programs. (This story, written with Laura Poitras, was based on documents obtained by Edward J. Snowden, the former contractor who leaked a trove of classified information to journalists.)
Why is he facing jail time in the first place?
Risen is the author of the 2006 book “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” A chapter of that book detailed a CIA plan to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Prosecutors believe that Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative charged with leaking classified information, gave Risen information that was used for this chapter.