A New York Times reporter will fight a grand jury subpoena seeking the identities of his sources for portions of a book about the CIA.
The publisher of "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" said Friday that the government should not be permitted to breach author James Risen's confidential relationship with his sources.
The lawyer for Risen, Joel Kurtzberg, said that the Justice Department is seeking information regarding Risen's sources about a CIA effort to disrupt Iranian nuclear research, according to a story on the subpoena dispute that appeared in Wednesday's Times.
Simon & Schuster and its Free Press imprint which published Risen's book said they "firmly believe that the American people have been well served by Mr. Risen's reporting ... and that the ability to publish confidentially sourced information about our government's practices and policies is one of the bedrock principles of a free and open society."
"A subpoena issued more than four years after the book was published hardly seems to be important enough to outweigh the protection an author needs to have," Diane McNulty, a spokesperson for Risen's employer, The New York Times, said in an e-mail Friday to The Associated Press. The information at issue in the book did not appear in The Times. McNulty said the publisher and Risen are handling the matter.
Risen received the subpoena Monday and it summoned him to testify May 4 before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., about his sources for one chapter in the book, according to the story in The Times.
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