Monday, WMR reported that the editor was the subject of a national security investigation launched by the National Security Agency (NSA), possibly in concert with other federal agencies.
Monday, we learned that two agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Connecticut wants to question one of our contributing writers, Maher Osseiran. It is not known what the subject is but anytime a journalist or writer is the subject of any kind of questioning by law enforcement, except in very narrow and limited circumstances, First Amendment alarms should be ringing across the nation. The two agents in Connecticut are FBI Special Agent Judy Eide, billed as a “Training Coordinator,” and Detective Steven Roy of the Connecticut State Police.
Meanwhile, our colleague Joe Lauria, who wrote a series of exposes for the Sunday Times of London, is also the subject of an FBI probe. This editor assisted The Times with its story on Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI Turkish translator, and her story about a Turkish-Israeli intelligence and influence-peddling ring that involved drug and nuclear smuggling activities.
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We also learned Monday that national security correspondent Bill Gertz of The Washington Times is still not out of the woods yet on a federal probe over the leak of grand jury information on a Chinese espionage case. In addition, the FBI is continuing to investigate New York Times national security reporter Jim Risen over his exposes of the FBI’s and NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. A federal grand jury subpoenaed Risen to reveal his anonymous sources but he has refused to appear. It is this editor’s oft-stated policy that he will neither appear before nor answer questions posed by any grand jury about confidential sources or any methods used to obtain information for stories.
We have learned from an executive level NSA source linked to NSA Security that when NSA’s Security Directorate first began investigating the disclosure of the agency’s FIRSTFRUITS journalist surveillance database, an NSA security officer said of the journalists contained in the database, “We should just kill them all.” The journalists who were then the subject of the database were, in addition to this editor, Bill Gertz, James Bamford, Vernon Loeb, Jim Risen, Dr. John C. K. Daly, and Seymour Hersh.