Normally, I do not go in for pure advocacy, but this really struck me. Even after Attorney General Eric Holder said that no reporters would go to jail for not revealing a source, it looks very much like The New York Times reporter James Risen is set to go to jail for not revealing a source. This is yet another one of those cases where the government is using the Espionage Act of 1917 against pretty much everyone. In this case, it is ex-CIA agent Jeffrey Alexander Sterling. The information that he revealed to Risen was so important that no one seems to know what it was. Was Sterling a pissed off ex-employee? Sure. Was he also a whistleblower? Based upon the content of State of War, he definitely was.
Of course, we live in the country where you go to jail simply because you piss off the wrong people. The government doesn’t need Risen to testify in order to throw Sterling in jail. It is just an act of government intimidation of the media. (Given how accommodating the media are to the government, I don’t see the need.) This is exactly the kind of thing that used to make me so angry about the Bush administration. It’s even worse with our current president. We all thought his being a constitutional law professor would make him uphold the Constitution more. But it’s turned out that he just uses his knowledge to get around it.
Anyway, Roots Action has a petition that I really think you ought to sign, We Support James Risen Because We Support a Free Press. I’ve signed it and I rarely sign petitions. So please, go over there. This is kind of important. Hopeless, I suppose; but important.