At a time when journalists' roles in covering different, critical conflict zones have been under the microscope, renewed attention has come to the case involving James Risen. He is the New York Times journalist who has been fighting efforts by two different Departments of Justice ? under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush ? to compel him to identify sources from a 2006 book that reveals a secret CIA plan to sabotage Iran's budding nuclear program.
For the past five years, he has battled the Obama administration's Justice Department, which in 2009 took a rather unprecedented step of renewing a subpoena scheduled to expire that year. From his case and others the Obama administration has pursued, Risen told The Times' Maureen Dowd recently that Obama represented a fundamental obstacle for press freedom.
"It's hypocritical," Risen said. "A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don't want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistleblowers. But he does. He's the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation."