Most of you have probably been seen this on Atrios and Americablog, but it’s potentially quite significant, so for the benefit of anyone who might have missed it …
It started with this exchange from a transcript on the NBC website:
New York Times reporter James Risen first broke the story two weeks ago that the National Security Agency began spying on domestic communications soon after 9/11. In a new book out Tuesday, “State of War,” he says it was a lot bigger than that. Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell sat down with Risen to talk about the NSA, and the run-up to the war in Iraq….
Mitchell: Do you have any information about reporters being swept up in this net?
Risen: No, I don’t. It’s not clear to me. That’s one of the questions we’ll have to look into the future. Were there abuses of this program or not? I don’t know the answer to that
Mitchell: You don’t have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?
Risen: No, no I hadn’t heard that.
Okay, so what does Andrea Mitchell know? Why is she asking if Risen knows if a specific journalist has been wiretapped?
It gets stranger, when NBC deletes that part of the transcript from the website, offering this lame explanation:
“Unfortunately this transcript was released prematurely. It was a topic on which we had not completed our reporting, and it was not broadcast on ‘NBC Nightly News’ nor on any other NBC News program. We removed that section of the transcript so that we may further continue our inquiry.”
Hard to know what’s going on here. Clearly somebody knows something they’re not telling yet. The only mainstream journalist who has much of a track record for taking on his peers on stories like this is Keith Olberman, and since he’s at MSNBC, I kind of doubt he has the leeway to do the job. Hope somebody does.