News Release

* James Risen “Hero” * Panetta’s “Fraud”

PAY-ANY-PRICE_hres-198x300The book Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War by James Risen of the New York Times was released today. The government has demanded he identify a confidential source under threat of imprisonment. Risen appeared this morning on “Democracy Now!” See: “Risen’s New Book Exposes Corrupt Zealotry of ‘U.S. War on Terror’” by IPA executive director Norman Solomon.

RUSS TICE
Available for a very limited number of interviews, Tice is a former intelligence analyst and operations officer for the NSA. He has acknowledged being one of the sources for Risen’s original story about mass NSA surveillance that was published by the New York Times in 2005. Tice just wrote the piece “In Response to the Government’s Lynching of James Risen,” which criticizes Risen for not including more information in his original piece, but still calls him a true “American hero.”

JESSELYN RADACK, jradack at whistleblower.org, @JesselynRadack
Radack is the director of National Security and Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project who herself has been a whistleblower. She said today: “James Risen’s willingness to go to jail to protect the identity of his source is what makes him a courageous, effective investigative journalist. But, Risen should not be forced to choose between journalistic integrity and a jail cell.

“Risen’s case demonstrates concretely how the war on national security whistleblowers using the Espionage Act is really a back door way of targeting the press, and specifically journalists who hold the government accountable and who protect the whistleblowers who serve as their sources.”

MELVIN GOODMAN, goody789 at verizon.net
Goodman just wrote the piece “Why Leon Panetta’s Memoir is a Fraud,” which states: “If Leon Panetta had been a half-decent director of the Central Intelligence Agency or a half-decent secretary of defense, then his ironically-titled “Worthy Fights” could have been viewed as a credible critique of the national security policy of the Obama administration. The fact of the matter is that Panetta had his own worthy fights to encounter at both the CIA and the Pentagon, but he dodged them all. He became an immediate and willing captive of the operational culture of the CIA and the military culture of the Pentagon. And to make certain that the serious problems at both bureaucracies would remain hidden, he destroyed the oversight process at the CIA and weakened the oversight process at the Pentagon. …

“Panetta also managed to harm the CIA in an even more fundamental way by undermining and compromising the work of the Office of the Inspector General. His immediate successors had tried to achieve this, particularly Porter Goss and General Michael Hayden, but it was Panetta who pulled the switch. A former colleague of mine, John Helgerson, was the inspector general during the Bush years and tried to stand up to the efforts of Goss and Hayden, but believed that it was safe to retire in 2009 when a Democratic administration came into power and a supposedly decent civil servant and public official such as Panetta was named director of CIA. Well, Helgerson put his money on the wrong horse.”

Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. His 42-year government career includes tours with the U.S. Army, the CIA, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. His most recent books are The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.