Friday, January 06, 2006

From Democrats & Liberals:

What Does Andrea Mitchell Know That She's Not Telling Us?
What is Andrea Mitchell, of NBC news, trying to tell us about the NSA domestic spying program? During an interview with New York Times reporter James Risen, who broke the story, Mitchell asks a rather peculiar question.

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.

I can understand the question about spying on journalists in general; but why did Mitchell bring up Amanpour in particular? Does Amanpour, Mitchell or NBC have reason to believe that she was the target of NSA spying? What is the significance if she was? After all journalists have contacts all over the world, some that the government might consider a security threat. But this particular journalist had another contact. One the Bush administration may have considered a political threat.

Christiane Amanpour, a CNN correspondent, happens to be married to Jamie Rubin. Mr. Rubin was Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and spokesman for the State Department during the Clinton administration. Even more interesting is the fact that he served as foreign policy advisor for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Now, if Amanpour was the target of wiretapping, then certainly that eavesdropping would have included anyone who used her computers or phones, including Rubin. The implications of such a wiretap would be that Rubin's conversations would have been captured as well. Conversations with John Kerry, other campaign advisors and Democratic leaders.

On Wednesday, posted the official transcript of the interview. This led AMERICAblog to question if Bush, had indeed, wiretapped Amanpour. Two hours later NBC deleted the section of the transcript with Mitchell's question and Risen's answer . Notice that the transcript contains this disclaimer: "Following is an edited transcript of the interview." This leads to the question, why would NBC alter the official transcript?

After TVNewser posed that question to NBC, they released this 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 inquiry.

This is very significant. If NBC wishes to continue it's investigation into the Amanpour matter before airing the interview, then obviously there is something Andrea Mitchell knows; but she's not talking. Yet.


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