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Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2008

Reporter subpoenaed over book on CIA

February 2, 2008

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— A federal grand jury has subpoenaed a reporter for The New York Times in an apparent attempt to force him to disclose his sources in a 2006 book on the CIA, a lawyer for the reporter said.

Attorney David N. Kelley said the subpoena issued last week seeks the source of information for a chapter of James Risen's book "State of War" regarding CIA efforts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.

Risen plans to fight the subpoena, Kelly said. The reporter has been ordered to appear before the grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday.

"He has an agreement of confidentiality with his sources and he intends to stand by that in the highest degree of journalistic traditions," Kelley said.

Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said the paper "strongly supports Mr. Risen and deplores what seems to be a growing trend of government leak investigations focusing on journalists, particularly in the national security area."

The information on the CIA and Iran's nuclear program was never published in the Times. Mathis would not say why it had not been.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse would not comment on the work of the grand jury that issued the subpoena, citing a pending investigation.

Risen and Times colleague Eric Lichtblau won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for their disclosure of the Bush administration's wiretapping program.

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