Thursday, January 05, 2006

Did Bush Wiretap Amanpour?

John Aravosis' excellent AMERICAblog is covering the developing story about whether Bush's gang wiretapped CNN's Christiane Amanpour. This all began when NBC's Andrea Mitchell specifically posed that question to James Risen, the New York Times reporter who first broke the story about domestic wiretapping. NBC has now changed the transcript to delete the question, but here's the original transcript:

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.


It's not clear why Mitchell would ask such a specific question, but the blogs are all over this story and it will not be allowed to die quietly. Speculation is that Amanpour's husband, former Clinton administration senior advisor Jamie Rubin, might have been the intended target. Check out Aravosis' analysis of the situation. Scary.

But -- almost as sinister a question -- why did NBC edit the question out of the transcript? Their stated reason is they removed the lines in question "so that we may further continue our inquiry," but, as Aravosis says,

Since when is NBC in the business of deleting entire paragraphs from their official transcripts? What's going on here?

Stay tuned, folks. I predict that this story will not go away. Even the mainstream news media will take an interest when the civil liberties of one (possibly more) of its own are under attack.

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