U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder won’t compel The New York Times‘ James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, to name his confidential source on CIA operations intended to prevent Iran from building its nuclear program.
It’s the conclusion of a standoff that has lasted for years, as NPR’s David Folkenflik reported for our Newscast unit. It began in 2006, David reports, when “Risen’s book State of War revealed the CIA had botched a scheme to feed the Iranians faulty material on how to refine nuclear fuel for weapons.”
After that, “federal officials called for investigations, and Risen received his first of three subpoenas to compel him to disclose his source.”
Risen, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for revealing the scope of the NSA’s warrentless wiretapping program in 2005, refused, and risked jail as a result.
In June, however, Holder insisted that Risen wouldn’t face jail time, saying, “As long as I’m attorney general, no reporter who is doing his job is going to go to jail.”
Holder’s decision not to compel Risen to reveal his source was first reported by NBC News. Risen’s attorney had no comment, saying he has not received any formal word from the Justice Department about the decision.
Follow David Folkenflik on Twitter for more on this story.