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The Source: Obama The "Number One Threat To Journalists" Says Investigative Reporter

The White House

New York Times investigative reporter James Risen says while he is hoping that it won't come to it, he is willing to go to prison rather than divulge the source of information for a chapter he wrote in his 2006 book "State of War" that detailed the failed CIA mission dubbed "Operation Merlin." The Clinton-era mission allegedly attempted to put bad nuclear weapon plans into Iranian physicist hands, delaying them from obtaining a functional warhead. Jeffrey Sterling was indicted for leaking the information to Risen in 2010.

Risen has broken numerous stories including the warrantless wire-tapping program instituted after 9/11 under the Bush Administration. 

In his new book "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War," the Pulitizer-Prize winning reporter is unrepentant despite having  a federal trial scheduled for January. He says he wrote  the book to show he wouldn't be bullied by the Obama Administration who he says has prosecuted more journalists than any president in history. The book details the rise of what Risen calls the "homeland-security industrial complex" which leaches billions from taxpayers with little or no oversight. 

He estimates 4 trillion dollars in spending on the War on Terror. 40 billion to KBR for shoddy buildings on thousands of bases across Iraq and Afghanistan, some with wiring so bad they killed servicemen. $400 billion to contractors known for defrauding the government for a million dollars or more, and $11 billion still unaccounted for. He details a free-for-all sanctioned by Congress people who are all afraid of a "Soft on Terrorism" label.


  • James Risen, New York Times investigative reporter and author of the new book "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War"
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive