The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Hallelujah! Could Risen be heading to the Grand Jury?
On January 24, a federal grand jury in Alexandria issued a subpoena to James Risen of the New York Times, seeking information about who in the U.S. government provided him with classified information that he published in his book, State of War. That book appeared in January 2006, more than two years ago. The CIA may have a hard time keeping secrets, but the Justice Department, we are learning now that this long-running leak inquest has come to light, seems to be very good at it.Jules is onto something here; I think that "Leakgate" might be about to hit the news cycle (as much as they will try to ignore it, if Risen is in the crosshairs, this will bust through the election-year media. And if so, this would be no Henry Waxman/Chuckie Schumer witch hunt--this would be the real thing.
There are at least two possibilities why Risen was issued a subpoena. One is that his book badly embarrassed the CIA by exposing incompetence well beyond its familiar inability to keep secrets. In referring the breach to the Justice Department for investigation, the CIA is paying him back. The subpoena, in other words, is part and parcel of a cover-up of agency bungling.
Another explanation is that, thanks to Risen’s book, valuable intelligence sources and methods were compromised, damage was done to national security, and the Justice Department has been tasked with tracking down the malefactors in the intelligence community who broke their oaths of secrecy, violated the law, and dropped classified information of value to American adversaries into the public domain. Because Risen is the only one who knows their identity, he is being hauled before a grand jury.
Daniel Schorr of NPR is a proponent of the first theory. He sees a CIA “enraged” by the leak of its “colossal failure” and striking back. I would bet the agency’s Farm that he is wrong. And that the second theory is closer to the mark.
What perfect timing. Risen could be faced with either a prosecution for complicity in espionage (or something similar) or else be given a shot at immunity to name names of who leaked; or else rot in jail like Judith Miller until he sings. And don't you just wonder who the leaker(s) will turn out to be? (do the initials JR sound familiar?).
This could be big.