Irony Alert: DOJ Leaked To Press Decision Not To Force Reporter James Risen To Reveal Who Leaked Info To Him

from the doj-made-a-lol dept

On Friday, we wrote about reports that the DOJ had decided not to force Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen to reveal an intelligence community source for a story he wrote years ago — though he still may be subpoenaed and put on the stand about other stuff (and it’s not entirely clear if he’ll agree to do that). However, there was a bit of irony in all of this: the DOJ leaked this information to the press. Risen’s lawyer told reporter Jana Winter that they hadn’t received any official word when the stories started appearing in the press, and there hadn’t been any official government filing. The NY Times reports the same thing. Instead, it was just reported in the press as “according to a person familiar with the decision.”

In other words, it “leaked” from the DOJ.

Or, more specifically, it leaked from the DOJ that it wouldn’t seek to put a reporter in jail for refusing to say who leaked other information to him, as it still looks to put that original leaker in jail.

The entire situation was driven by the DOJ’s attempt to totally crackdown on leaks that the administration doesn’t like. As we’ve discussed, the Obama administration has (like no other administration in history) declared war on leakers and whistleblowers. It has used the Espionage Act (which is supposed to be used against spies) more than double all other Presidents combined to prosecute those involved in leaks, including journalists. The administration has set up an “Insider Threat Program” and produced a document comparing leaks to “aiding the enemies of the United States.”

And, yet… when the government leaks out information that makes the administration look good, suddenly no one has a problem. For years, even when there are leaks that might be said to “compromise national security,” so long as they make the administration “look good” no one cares. There are no investigations or freakouts or threats to put reporters or leakers in jail.

And thus, here we are, with the final chapter in the ridiculous Risen intimidation saga involving the DOJ leaking to the press the information that it won’t seek to put him in jail for not revealing who leaked him information.

I’m guessing that there will be no investigation at all into who “leaked” this particular information.

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Comments on “Irony Alert: DOJ Leaked To Press Decision Not To Force Reporter James Risen To Reveal Who Leaked Info To Him”

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Anonymous Coward says:

there will be an investigation, not the kind you think.

Just send the document to be leaked to suspected moles and then see if the leak occurs. After the information is leaked you investigate the select few that had the document and try to determine which one did it.

Even better is to give a different version to each suspect so that when the document is made public you can track who leaked it.

but yes the Government does love having good press.

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