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September 29, 2004

Charge: New York Times Reporter Tipped Off Islamic "Charity" Just Before FBI Raid

Not anti-war, just on the other side?:

The Justice Department has charged that a veteran New York Times foreign correspondent warned an alleged terror-funding Islamic charity that the FBI was about to raid its office β€” potentially endangering the lives of federal agents.

The stunning accusation was disclosed yesterday in legal papers related to a lawsuit the Times filed in Manhattan federal court.

The suit seeks to block subpoenas from the Justice Department for phone records of two of its Middle Eastern reporters β€” Philip Shenon and Judith Miller β€” as part of a probe to track down the leak.

Hold off-- it's not Judith Miller, as the article makes clear, shortly.

The Times last night flatly denied the allegation.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago charged in court papers that Shenon blew the cover on the Dec. 14, 2001, raid of the Global Relief Foundation β€” the first charges of their kind under broad new investigatory powers given to the feds under the Patriot Act.

"It has been conclusively established that Global Relief Foundation learned of the search from reporter Philip Shenon of The New York Times," Fitzgerald said in an Aug. 7, 2002, letter to the Times' legal department.

...

"I would posit that the circumstances here β€” the decision by the reporter to provide a tip to the subject of a terrorist fund-raising inquiry which seriously compromised the integrity of the investigation and potentially endangered the safety of federal law-enforcement personnel β€” warrant such cooperation in full," Fitzgerald said.

The Times, and Shenon's lawyer, deny the charge.

And yet they're none to willing to disclose the evidence that might exculpate him.

Can I ask a question?

What the hell does the press think it's doing?

Update: Mark from Rational Explications points out that TimesWatch has a nice digest of Philip Shenon's oevure. ("Oevure" is French for "partisan hatchet-jobs.")

Sweet Irony Update: I don't understand how this is all connected, but the prosecutor here seems to be the same man working on the Valerie Plame case.

Of course, the New York Times, which wants Fitzgerald to dig like there's no tomorrow on the Plame matter, seeks special special protections for itself in court.

That last link thanks to Michelle Malkin.


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posted by Ace at 03:02 PM

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