JAMES RISEN’S SOURCES: HOW GOOD ARE THEY?

January 5, 2006

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Find out for yourself in the latest from Tom Joscelyn of the Weekly Standard. Risen’s depended on them before…and has been the purveyor of DISINFORMATION before.

  • According to media critic Mark Finkelstein, “time and again, Risen defended his sources as having the ‘purest’ and ‘best’ motives, springing entirely from their concern for the rule of law.”
    But if history is any indication, Risen should be a bit more skeptical of his sources and their motives, in general.
  • As has been pointed out previously (see articles in THE DAILY STANDARD
    here and here), Risen’s sources led him astray regarding the interrogation of senior al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah. Risen’s anonymous sources told him that Zubaydah had denied that Saddam and al Qaeda were working together and he reported this bogus account (“Threats and Responses: C.I.A.; Captives Deny Qaeda Worked With Baghdad”) in the New York Times on June 9, 2003.
    “Several [anonymous] officials,” told Risen that a transcript of Zubaydah’s interrogation was circulated “within the American intelligence community last year . . . his statements were not included in public discussions by administration officials about the evidence concerning Iraq-Qaeda ties.”
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