America needs such heroes.
Unfortunately the Risen story was wedge between a interview with FBI director James Comey saying how Apple and Google were putting their customer beyond the law and a Mexican drug lord who was caught using intercepted cell info.
Everyone remember when the Clapper lied to congress? That was 2013. He said that US intelligence agencies were not collecting data on US citizens.
Back in 2006, Risen published a story about how the NSA intercepts calls originating or terminating in the US. He got his information from CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling who gave Risen the info between 2002 and 2004. The NSA actually intercepted those emails. They sat on that info for another 6 years until 2010.
During 2010, Sterling (the CIA agent) was awarded an Anti-Fraud Award from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association after he broke up a Medicare Fraud ring who operated to the tune of $32 million in fraud lass. During that same year, the CIA decided to indict Sterling over the leaks.
Sterling had previously been at odds with the CIA over a racial discrimination lawsuit. Sterling lost that case when the government invoked the ‘state secrets privilege’ saying the lawsuit would require disclosure of classified information…
Sterling had his access to sensitive info revoked in 2000. He was placed on administrative leave in 2001 and fired in 2002. Yet, the emails were sent to Risen between 2002 - 2004.
The reason Risen was subpoenaed in 2011 seems to be simply because they do not want to use those emails and the method they collected them as evidence. That’s why they need Risen to testify. They needed to continue the lie. But by 2013 Clapper lied to congress and the cat was already out of the bag. So, what possible reason can they now have to force Risen to testify since there is no longer any reason to keep a (now) publicly known operation secret?
This is punitive prosecution and little more. Sterling had a problem with racists running the CIA. He sued. He lost. They demoted and fired him. They then monitored his communications and found a way to punish him even further for daring to stand up for his and other Americans rights.
That Risen is being dragged down in to this cesspool is unfortunate but I suspect the outcome will be even more so.
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