The Power Behind Journalist James Risen’s Story


Journalist James Risen

Journalist James Risen

In case anyone needs more evidence of the power of US intelligence forces to censor the free press in order to cover up its covert activities, check out the story of James Risen as told on Fresh Air, on October 14, 2014.  Risen won the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism in 2006.  As a veteran reporter for the New York Times, he wrote a story about warrantless wire-tapping by the National Security Administration during the Bush Administration.  His story was suppressed by the Times under pressure from the government.  So he wrote a book instead, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.  

He now faces years in prison if he refuses to testify at the trial of a former CIA officer accused of giving him classified information.  His answer?  He has just released another book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War, which he calls the best way “to challenge the government’s draconian efforts to crack down on aggressive investigative reporting and suppress the truth in the name of ceaseless war.”  He is still refusing to provide testimony, in spite of the threat of a lengthy jail sentence.  “Pay Any Price” in his book’s title is, of course, taken from President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.

NPR: Live interview

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