Christiane Amanpour Being Spied On?

Ken AshfordWiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

ChristianeamanpourUPDATE:  The story has gotten weirder since I first posted it.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviewed James Risen, the NYT writer who broke the NSA wiretapping story.  Here’s the key segment of their interview:

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.

Now, I can understand Mitchell’s first question — it’s general and innocuous.  But the follow-up specifically mentioned CNN ‘s Christiane Amanpour (pictured above). 

Why would Mitchell ask specifically and publicly with respect to Amanpour?  What does Mitchell know that the rest of us don’t?

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that journalists with Middle East contacts often talk to terrorists (or at least, suspected terrorists), and Christiane Amanpour is probably well-connected compared to most others.  But it is a little distrubing to think that the NSA is tapping the phones of journalists.

Of course, as Americablog points out, Christiane Amanpour’s phone may have carried conversations totally unrelated to terrorism.  Her husband, James Rubin (a former Clinton State Department employee) worked as chief foreign policy adviser to General Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign, and then worked as a senior national security adviser to John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

I’m not going down that road too far, but it does lift an eyebrow or two.