05 January 2006

Listen Up

Andrea Mitchell dropped a bomb in her interview with James
Risen, the NY Times reporter who broke the NSA wiretaps story.

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.

NBC promptly deleted this part of the transcript and issued
the following statement:

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

Aravosis is all over the story, and also links to this post from
Attytood which lists several reasons why the White House
might choose to spy on Amanpour.

The least cynical answer would be because her
recent reporting would have brought her into
direct contact with members of al Qaeda. In
August 2002, not long after Bush began to
authorize the warrantless spying program,
Amanpour worked with CNN's Nic Robertson
on a special that was billed as an inside view
of al-Qaeda.

. . .

Then there is the issue of Amanpour's husband,
Jamie Rubin, former official in the Clinton
administration State Department. You may have
forgotten (we did, frankly), but Rubin re-emerged
in 2004 -- as a foreign policy advisor to John
Kerry. Do husbands and wives use the same
telephones and computers? Is the Pope German?