New York, New York, February 1, 2008—PEN American Center today expressed concern over reports that Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist has been issued a subpoena in an effort to compel him to reveal confidential sources for information published in his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.

The New York Times reported this morning that Risen, who shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting with fellow Times reporter Eric Lichtblau for a series of reports exposing the secret NSA surveillance program, was served a grand jury subpoena last week, evidently in an effort to uncover Risen’s sources for a chapter on failed U.S. attempts to spy on Iran’s nuclear program.

PEN American Center has been fighting a rise in subpoenas to journalists, and in 2006 mounted a major protest when several administration and Congressional figures suggested Risen, Lichtblau, and Washington Post reporter Dana Priest should be tried under the espionage act for reports exposing illegal surveillance and detention programs.


• James Risen & Philip Gourevitch
James Risen discusses State of War in a 2006 PEN podcast with Philip Gourevitch.

• Protecting Privacy, Challenging Secrecy & Standing Up for the First Amendment
James Risen on threats facing U.S. journalists at 2006 PEN-sponsored National Press Club event.

Larry Siems, (212) 334-1660 ext. 105