Yeah, I’m a little late to this story but I find it fascinating:
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.
What we seem to have here is an unrepentant leaker leaking to the press to stymie an investigation about…leaks to the press. These leaks–the original ones, not necessarily this one about cell phones–are illegal and, moreover, dangerous, having covered everything now from the war plan to be used in Iraq (which was leaked to the NYT just a few weeks before the war) to the use of Predators armed with Hellfire missiles in Pakistan to pop terrorists.
The “senior law enforcement official,” assuming he didn’t leak to ABC in some gambit to catch other leakers, is helping leakers continue to break the law. The disrespect for the law and national security surrounding all of these leaks is mind-boggling, but this one is the most brazen. It may also be one of the easiest to ferret out. The reporters in this cell phone leak case can’t plausibly claim that they don’t know who leaked to them, since they record on their blog that the “senior law enforcement official” tipped them in person. I have no sympathy for the reporters here–subpoena them and make them testify. Judy Miller them if they make it necessary. They know who is leaking to them, and by concealing leakers’ identities the reporters are aiding crime with national security implications.
While the left is in a tizzy over Rovemania, we have a cabal of real leakers doing real damage to national security, and so far they’ve gotten away with it. That needs to stop.
Update (Allahpundit): Just so people know, ABC News confirmed their story last night with … “a senior federal official.” Newsbusters commented here. And today a commissioner of the FCC is talking about investigating phone companies for complying with NSA requests for data. Got that?
Guess which party the commissioner, Michael Copps, belongs to.