Was Christiane Amanpour spied upon? Andrea Mitchell asked James Risen the following question, which later disappeared from the NBC transcript:
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.
CNN has followed up, and this is at their website:
Official: Amanpour, other CNN journalists not targeted for surveillance
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior U.S. intelligence official told CNN Thursday that the National Security Agency did not target CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour or any other CNN journalist for surveillance.
NBC raised the allegation in an interview with New York Times reporter James Risen, asking him whether he knew anything about possible surveillance of Amanpour by the NSA. Risen, author of a new book, "State of War: the Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," said he had not heard anything about it.
NBC posted a transcript of the interview on the MSNBC.com Web site Wednesday, then quickly removed the page. In a statement posted on the industry weblog TVNewser, the network said the transcript was "released prematurely," and that reporting would continue.
The interview was not broadcast on any NBC news program, the network said. From National Security Correspondent David Ensor (Posted 8:16 p.m.)
Let me help - even though Ms. Amanpour was not "targetted", as per the NSA denial, she may well have been caught up in the surveillance *IF* she received a call *from* a phone that was being monitored for AL Qaeda connections. And IIRC, that might include public phone booths in Kabul - that is where calls to two of the 9/11 terrorists originated, if memory serves. Presumably, other public phone booths are surveilled as well.
I would not say that my current insinuation thickens the plot; in fact, it was my "who cares" guess yesterday. However I wonder whether CNN is planning to disclose that, on occasion, their reporters receive phone calls from folks that might be viewed by the NSA as affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Not that there's anything wrong with that! Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Since I can imagine that CNN is clever enough to have caught the non-denial, my guess is they are playing along with the NSA and letting sleeping dogs not bark in the night. Curious.