So Much for Sources
01.02.2006 10:15 | DISPATCHES
As if the rulings against Judy-Judy-Judy Miller and Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper weren't enough to put a damper on the use of sources. Then along comes news that the administration ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on communications between the media and their sources in the NSA, as well as other US intelligence agencies. As usual, former NSA analyst Wayne Madsen has the lowdown.
In a program known as "Firstfruits," telephone conversations with and email to and from journalists working the intelligence beat--like, arguably, the nation's two best investigative reporters, Seymour Hersh and Madsen himself--were entered into a database. Those who made contact with the Firstfruit journalists, as well as with members of Congress or Inspectors General, were labeled "disgruntled employees." Deemed "security risks," they were subject to not only revocation of their security clearance but termination.
Plucking Firstfruits from among their own scarcely qualifies NSA management for that variation on a vegetarian known as a fruitarian. In fact, they're cannibals, growing fat on their own kind.