Les procureurs poursuivent M. #Risen depuis 2006, réclamant qu’il confirme le nom d’un homme qu’ils estiment être sa source dans son livre State of War, sur la CIA et l’administration Bush. M. Risen refuse notamment sa convocation pour témoigner au procès d’un ancien responsable de la CIA, Jeffrey Sterling, accusé d’avoir rendu publiques des informations confidentielles. Au début de juin, la Cour suprême des Etats-Unis avait refusé de se saisir de l’affaire, maintenant donc l’injonction faite au journaliste.
Attorney General Eric Holder wants to force Risen to testify and reveal the identity of his confidential source on a story he had in his 2006 book concerning a bungled C.I.A. operation during the Clinton administration in which agents might have inadvertently helped Iran develop its nuclear weapon program. The tale made the C.I.A. look silly, which may have been more of a sore point than a threat to national security.
But Bush officials, no doubt still smarting from Risen’s revelation of their illegal wiretapping, zeroed in on a disillusioned former C.I.A. agent named Jeffrey Sterling as the source of the Iran story.
The subpoena forcing Risen’s testimony expired in 2009 , and to the surprise of just about everybody, the constitutional law professor’s administration renewed it — kicking off its strange and awful aggression against reporters and whistle-blowers.
Holder said in May that “no reporter who is doing his job is going to go to jail,” trying to show some leg and signal that his intention is benign, merely to put pressure on Sterling so that he will plead guilty before his trial.
The president and the attorney general both spoke nobly about the First Amendment after two reporters were arrested in Ferguson, Mo., while covering the racial protests in the wake of Michael Brown’s death.
Obama said that “here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”
Holder seconded the sentiment, saying that “journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.”
So why don’t they back off Risen? It’s hard to fathom how the president who started with the press fluffing his pillows has ended up trying to suffocate the press with those pillows.
How can he use the Espionage Act to throw reporters and whistle-blowers in jail even as he defends the intelligence operatives who “tortured some folks,” and coddles his C.I.A. chief, John Brennan, who spied on the Senate and then lied to the senators he spied on about it?
“It’s hypocritical,” Risen said. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that #Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation .”