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Tag: CIA

Politico: Eric Holder Plugs His Legacy on Leak Cases

Reporter James Risen

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — A federal jury’s decision Monday to convict a former CIA officer for leaking top-secret information to a New York Times reporter was a big win for prosecutors — and for Attorney General Eric Holder’s new approach to handling sensitive cases involving journalists.

Holder decided to spare the reporter in the case, New York Times correspondent James Risen, from testifying against his sources. The move could become an important part of the soon-to-depart attorney general’s legacy and a guidepost for future government leak cases given that the government won the case without much testimony from the reporter who received the information.

Holder and his allies are arguing that they have helped secure journalists’ First Amendment rights with the maneuver, but whistleblower advocates worry that the prison time ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is facing in the wake of the trial will wind up silencing federal employees seeking to expose government malfeasance or ineptitude.

To read the full story click here. 

 

FBI Agent: No Direct Evidence Ex-CIA Officer Leaked Info to New York Times

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI agent testified Wednesday that there is no direct evidence that an ex-CIA officer leaked classified information to a New York Times reporter, the Associated Press reports

But the agent said CIA man Jeffrey Sterling was often in contact with journalist James Risen as prosecutors finished up their case based on phone and email contacts. Prosecutors recently declined to force Risen to testify.

Sterling is charged with leaking information about a classified mission that Risen wrote about in his 2006 book “State of War.”

Sterling has long denied being the source.

Former FBI Agent Claims He Had Information to Stop 9/11 Attacks

A former FBI special agent said he had information that could have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but he said the CIA prevented him from taking the evidence to FBI headquarters, Newsweek reports.

Mark Rossini, who lost his job in 2008 for showing confidential FBI documents to actress Linda Fiorentino to help her research a script about a wiretapper, said he was barred from going to FBI headquarters with information that two known terrorists had entered the U.S. Those terrorists later helped carry out the 9/11 attacks.

While government reports have vaguely blamed “intelligence failures” for the terrorist attacks, no details were ever provided about why the CIA didn’t pass on information earlier to the FBI that the terrorists were in the country.

During questioning by the congressional investigators, Rossini said and another FBI agent were told by the CIA to stay quiet.

“It was just understood in the office that they were not to be trusted, that [the congressional investigators] were trying to pin this on someone, that they were trying to put someone in jail,” Rossini told Newsweek. “They said [the investigators] weren’t authorized to know what was going on operationally. … When we were interviewed, the CIA had a person in the room, monitoring us.”

Denver Post: Justice Department Must End Crusade Against Reporters

By Denver Post 
Editorial Board

All of the conciliatory talk from the Justice Department about leaving journalists out of its war on leaks appears to be just that — talk.

That’s the only logical answer to the question of why New York Times reporter James Risen was on the witness stand in federal court Monday, being asked about confidential sources and stories.

The feds are attempting to prosecute Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former CIA officer accused of giving Risen classified information about a botched operation involving Iran and its nuclear program.

The government’s attempt to pressure Risen is far from the only episode in which the administration has tried to get at those suspected of revealing sensitive information through journalists.

To read more click here.

NYT’s James Risen Pushes Back in Hearing on Leaks

Reporter James Risen

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s plan to defuse a First Amendment showdown with a New York Times reporter over his confidential sources was nearly derailed at a court hearing Monday when the journalist rebuffed a series of questions concerning his reporting.

But he eventually agreed to answer some of the queries, allowing the at-times tense session to get back on track and avoiding for now a major confrontation over press freedom.

Times national security writer James Risen testified for about 45 minutes in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, where ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is set to go on trial next week on charges of leaking top-secret information that Risen published in his 2006 book “State of War.”

 To read more click here.

Secret Service Investigates Creed Frontman’s Alleged Plot to Assassinate President Obama

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Secret Service is investigating claims that Creed singer Scott Stapp was on a mission to assassinate President Obama on the delusional belief that he was working for the CIA, People reports.

The singer’s wife told a 911 operator last month that Stapp was having a schizophrenic episode, riding shirtless on his bicycle carrying a backpack with what he believed were papers and hard drives from the CIA.

“He thinks he’s part of the CIA. He thinks they’re trying to kill him and he has a bunch of paperwork in his backpack that [says] he’s a CIA agent and he was supposed to assassinate Obama,” Jaclyn, 34, said during the call.

The Secret Service said it is investigating.

“We are well aware and we’ll take appropriate action,” Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said.

Other Stories of Interest

Former FBI Agent Defends Torture Following Scathing Senate Report

James Davis

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Davis, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who headed the Denver office and served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said the brutal interrogation techniques outlined by the Senate’s torture report were appropriate to keep the U.S. safe.

“In the FBI, we build relationships on a rapport with the detainees that’s built over a long period of time,” Davis told KDVR.com in Denver. “After 9/11, we didn’t feel like we had much time. I think that the guys that were using those techniques believed them to be legal and believed them to be necessary to keep the country safe.”

Davis dismissed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report as partisan and disagreed with the findings.

“I’ll never say never, but to say that this never produced actionable intelligence is probably not true,” Davis said. “Starting those interviews, the people they were talking to were not providing information so something had to happen to get them to start providing that information.”

Federal Judge Sets Deadline on DOJ’s Decision to Subpoena NYT Reporter

Reporter James Risen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal judge has given the Justice Department until Tuesday to decide whether to subpoena New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a CIA operative who allegedly leaked classified information to the journalist, the Huffington Post reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema issued the order Tuesday.

Former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling is accused of supplying Risen with classified information that was used for the journalist’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the Cia and the Bush Administration.”

The book sparked the legal battle.

But now the judge is growing impatient and wants a decision on whether Risen will be ordered to testify.

“Since June 2, 2014, the United States has had over six months to decide whether it will subpoena James Risen to testify at this trial, which is scheduled to begin Monday, January 12, 2015,” the order read. “Because Mr. Risen’s presence or absence at the trial will have a significant impact on how the parties present their case, a decision about Mr. Risen must be made sufficiently before trial to enable the parties to prepare adequately.”