Monday, May 15, 2006

Monitoring ABC journalists phone calls

ABC News journalists Brian Ross and Richard Esposito have learned that their phone calls are being monitored by the Bush government (h/t Pam Spaulding).

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.
"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.
Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials. The CIA asked for an FBI investigation of leaks of classified information following those reports.
People questioned by the FBI about leaks of intelligence information say the CIA was also disturbed by ABC News reports that revealed the use of CIA predator missiles inside Pakistan.
Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers.
I suspect ABC, NYTimes, and WaPo aren't the only news media that the Bush Administration tracks. How 'bout CNN's Christiane Amanpour?

Had enough of Big Brother Bush? I'm sure Hayden knows a lot more than he will say during his confirmation hearings. Maybe Russell Tice will shed light this week.... I hope.