Thursday, January 05, 2006

Reporter defends release of NSA spy program

MSNBC reported James Risen says his sources are ‘patriots,’ CIA calls them ‘unreliable’

If you think they are patriots, reveal their names, so they can be honored for their patriotism. And if it turns out they have violated the law, well patriotism sometimes has a price.
.... Mitchell: Did you have any concerns about revealing this secret program?

Risen: No, I thought that the American people really needed to know about this. I think it had to be debated publicly.
So if a reporter thinks that a classified program should be debated publicly, does he have a right to expose anything he wants. Eisenhower is certainly lucky that some reported did not think the Normandy Invasion should be debated publicly.
.... Mitchell: What changed to permit The Times to publish this story after holding it for a year?

Risen: Well, I think that you know we got more information as the paper has said, but I have agreed not to discuss in any detail what happened. But I just think that it was a great decision to go forward.
After all, I have a book coming out this month, and the publicity will cause me to sell many more copies.
Mitchell: The Justice Department is now investigating the leak. Are you concerned about being forced to reveal your sources?

Risen: Well, I would rather not, obviously. I hope that doesn't happen, but I can't really talk about that until the time comes. Hopefully, we won't have to face that.
Call a Grand Jury and let us see what happens.
Mitchell: Will you resist revealing sources?

Risen: Well, I don't want to get into what I'll plan to do, because it's not something I have to think about right now.
I hope I don't have to go to jail. It will interfere with the tour to sell my book.
Mitchell: Couldn't some people call your sources traitors?

Risen: People can call them anything they want. It's a free country. You can call something anything and people today call people all kinds of things. I know what they are and I know what they did and I believe they're patriots.
Then reveal their names.

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