Monday, January 05, 2015

James Risen stands tall, US troops under mortar assault in Iraq, Saudi border targeted by IS

New York Times reporter James Risen has been under pressure to name sources -- under pressure from Barack Obama who lied during his first campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- remember, Barack wouldn't go after whistle-blowers.

But he lied.

And now the court case is gearing up. Matthew Barakat (AP) reports that Risen refused to provide answers as to who his confidential sources were for reports (and his book State of War) on the CIA.

That is great news.

I hope Risen is able to stick to his guns (and his ethics).  I hope his peers support him.

But what he's doing is very hard and very lonely and he's the one targeted by the government.

I say that because if he just gets tired of it or feels too much pressure, we should be grateful -- those of us who believe in a free press -- that he stood for what was right as long as he did.

Shame on Barack for attacking a free press, shame on him for terrorizing a reporter.

I can't imagine life's been easy for Risen in the last six years with the threat of imprisonment hanging over his head.

Barack's a hypocrite and the world should see what's taking place right now and remember it the next time the administration tries to lecture other countries about press freedoms.

Moving onto Iraq, Nikki Henderson (Nexstar Broadcasting) reports that US Col Steve Warren has confirmed that US troops stationed at al-Assad airbase are under regular mortar assault from the Islamic State with Warren terming the assaults "completely ineffective."  (So far, at any rate.)

Earlier today, Abdulrahman al-Rashed noted new efforts at diplomacy between Iraq and Saudi Arabi and wondered, "Will a Saudi embassy in Baghdad end tensions with Iraq?"

Later, BBC News notes, there was a suicide bomber attacking the border Iraq and Saudi Arabia share.  Angus McDowall (Reuters) counts 3 of the Saudi border employees dead.  Alsumaria notes Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the attack.

In other violence, Sputnik notes, "Iraq's security forces have killed at least 26 Islamic State (IS) militants in the country's northern province of Salah al-Din, a military source told the Iraqi News agency on Monday."

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