New York Times reporter James Risen responded with fury to remarks Tuesday by Attorney General Eric Holder defending the Obama administration's record on press freedom, repeating his previously stated view that "the Obama administration is the greatest enemy
of press freedom in a generation."
Holder, speaking at the National Press Club, said the administration was not hostile to journalists
and that it could have prosecuted many more leakers than it has. Citing the example of the World War II Manhattan Project, Holder said the media needed to ask itself whether the disclosure of certain information would have "a negative impact on the security of a nation."
Risen erupted in response to Holder's comments, tweeting that the attorney general "has been the nation's top censorship officer," Politico reported
"Eric Holder has done the bidding of the intelligence community and the White House to damage press freedom in the United States."
that in other tweets, Risen denounced Holder for having "sent a message to dictators around the world that it is okay to crack down on the press and jail journalists."
Holder, he added, "leaves behind a wrecked First Amendment" and has "managed to destroy any semblance of a reporters privilege in the United States."
Risen has battled the federal government in court for seven years over its efforts to force him to divulge his confidential sources for a 2006 book, "State of War: The History of the CIA and the Bush Administration."
Specifically, authorities have been trying to identify who leaked information about a CIA plan to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.
Last month, it was reported that Holder dropped the demand
that Risen reveal his sources.
In January, a federal jury convicted former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling
of nine felony counts including espionage for leaking material about the Iran operation.
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