Instead, Holder is closing in on Pulitzer Prize winning-journalist James Risen for protecting the identity of a source for his 2006 book, State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration. Holder’s DOJ accuses Risen of utilizing former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling as a source for his story about a CIA project to hand the Iranian government botched blueprints for a nuclear bomb. Sterling is now being prosecuted under the catch-all Espionage Act.
The Bush administration pursued Risen, but backed off. Now, Obama’s administration is digging up old dirt. Why? In an obvious attempt to use Risen as an scapegoat and send this chilling message to all journalists: If you even think of operating as a government watchdog, watch out: we’ll throw you in the slammer.
In the entire history of the United States, no other administration’s Department of Justice has been as ruthless as the current. Whereas Holder’s DOJ has used the Espionage Act to threaten eight whistleblowers, only three individuals have been similarly targeted for leaking “classified information” by all previous administrations combined, according to Truth-Out.org.
Risen has asked the Supreme Court to hear his case and uphold his First Amendment right to free speech. The Court is set to make a decision by next month, but Holder’s DOJ has urged the Court not to hear Risen’s case, which would require Risen to take the stand and potentially go to jail or be fined for refusing to talk.
When Obama first took office, he promised: Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
Our lawyer-president has a tendency to break promises. About ObamaCare. About transparency. About protecting journalists. And he also has a penchant for employing other lawyers, like Holder, whose irresponsibility and immorality have resulted in innocent deaths (think U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry and the numerous innocent Mexicans who died in the botched Fast and Furious gun-running scheme). Holder needs to take the high road—or hit the road.