Ex-CIA Agent Indicted for Leaks to NY Times Reporter

Former CIA Agent Jeffrey Sterling has been indicted in Virginia for leaking classified information to NY Times reporter James Risen.

Mr. Risen wrote about a C.I.A. attempt to disrupt Iranian nuclear research in his 2006 book, “State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration.”

Risen was subpoenaed to the grand jury to disclose his source in April. At the time, he said he would not comply with the request and seek to have the subpoena quashed. The subpoena was quashed and Risen says he did not disclose his source.

“I never testified and never provided the government with any information,” he said. “I never met with prosecutors and never reached any agreement with them.”

This is the 5th case in which the Obama Adminsitration has charged a current or former government official with leaking classified information. [More...]

Sterling was fired from the CIA in 2002.

Mr. Sterling, who is black, had a stormy history with the C.I.A. He accused the agency of racial discrimination and later tussled with it over permission to publish his memoirs. The indictment says he harbored “anger and resentment” against the agency and leaked as “retaliation.” In March 2002, Mr. Risen wrote a newspaper article about Mr. Sterling’s discrimination case.

Reporters are only supposed to be subpoenaed in a criminal investigation if the evidence can't be obtained in other ways. The Indictment relies in part on phone calls and emails between Sterling and the reporter. So they had wiretaps and electonic surveillance, why did seek Risen's testimony? The Times says the Justice Department declined to answer the question.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Marcy Wheeler has a series of (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 01:58:48 PM EST
    posts up about this indictment that, in typical Marcy fashion, deconstructs some of the weedier details and puts together a timeline that raises some questions about why DOJ may be going after Sterling.

    I don't claim to know one way or the other whether Marcy is right, but she gets below the surface in a way you are never going to read about in the NYT or the WaPo.

    Here are links to Marcy's posts (listed from most recent to earliest):

    Did John Brennan Have a Role in DOJ's Decision to Prosecute Jeffrey Sterling?

    Did NYT's Editors Alert the Government to Risen's Source?

    CIA Doesn't Want You To Know It Gave Iran Nuclear Blueprints

    James Risen's MERLIN Source Arrested

    At this stage, nothing would surprise me...

    And the beat (none / 0) (#4)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 12:07:55 AM EST
    goes on