James Risen, an Investigative Journalist, and veteran New York Times Reporter, is now another name on the list of Journalists being prosecuted by the Obama Administration. Risen, whose reporting on warrantless wiretapping was published in 2006, is now facing jail time for the same material that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.
According to Democracy Now, Risen’s original story was supposed to be published in the New York Times prior to the Presidential election in 2004. However, the report was not published until 2006, because Risen was under “government pressure,” due to the fact that his article could have had an effect of the outcome between candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry.
The same accounts included in the report, were also detailed in a book authored by Risen, titled, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.
Now, Risen could face time in prison if he refuses to testify at the trial of ex-CIA analyst Jeffrey Sterling. Prosecutors claim Sterling gave Risen information on the CIA’s role in interfering with Iran’s nuclear program.
In a 2006 article from Risen, which includes excerpts from his book, he addressed the fact that although President Bush had insisted Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, the country received blueprints to build a bomb in 2000, which came directly from the CIA.
According to Democracy Now, because of his revelations, Risen has been “pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations in a six-year leak investigation,” and he has vowed to “go to jail rather than testify at Sterling’s trial, which is set to begin in January.”
When it comes to prosecuting whistleblowers, the Obama Administration holds the record with eight, which is more than double the three who were prosecuted by previous presidents.