Friday, March 7, 2008

Journalist Asked to Testify on Iran Plot

The New York Times reporter James Risen has been asked to testify as part of a US government’s investigation into leaked confidential information regarding an alleged plan by the CIA and Mossad to sabotage Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Risen included the information in his book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” The book was published in 2006.

One of the ideas discussed by CIA and Mossad was to smuggle electromagnetic devices into Iran to sabotage electricity lines leading to the country's nuclear facilities. The plot would have caused extreme damage to powerful short circuits in Iran’s electric grid, leading to failures of the super computers of Iran's nuclear sites.

Yet another plot involved penetrating the heart of Iran's nuclear facilities, collect information about it and eventually disrupt it. The plan was code-named Operation Merlin. The operation would have involved supplying false information to the Iranians on nuclear weaponization program.

Risen is not the first journalist to have been subpoenaed to give evidence before a grand jury and reveal his sources. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said some 65 journalists have been summoned for such investigations since 2001. Some agreed, cooperated and testified. Most refused and did not reveal their sources.

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