May 6, 2010

Power protecting power

In a classic case of bad decision-making, the Obama Justice Department has subpoenaed New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about leaks he used to tell the story of President Bush's domestic surveillance program.

From Howard Kurtz:

In the Risen case, Attorney General Eric Holder had to approve the subpoena under Justice Department procedures. The subpoena, disclosed Thursday by the Times, comes two weeks after the administration obtained an indictment of a former top National Security Agency official, Thomas Drake, for allegedly providing classified information to a Baltimore Sun reporter.

Law enforcement officials, who declined to be identified discussing pending investigations, said the close timing of the two cases was coincidental and that the administration is not mounting an intensified effort to crack down on leakers. "As a general matter, we have consistently said that leaks of classified information are something we take extremely seriously,'' said Matthew Miller, chief Justice spokesman, who declined further comment.

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