Who needs a publicist to promote your book when the AP will do it for free? The AP is shilling for James Risen's new book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. In an article titled, "CIA Ignored Info Iraq Had no WMD", posted on yahoo.com, the AP states that the book "describes secret operations of the Bush Administration's war on terror". The articles cites an instance of the CIA sending an Iraqi-American MD to Iraq to talk to her brother about Iraq's nuclear weapons programs. Despite reports of a nuclear weapons program that ended years before, the article reports "In October 2002, a month after the doctor's trip to Baghdad, the U.S intelligence community issued a National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program". According to the article, "New York Times reporter James Risen uses the anecdote to illustrate how the CIA ignored information that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction.
The article also touches on the most controversial portion of the book - the NSA spying program "exposed" by the New York Times. It's important to note who the spying was directed at according to the article.
"In the book, which quotes extensively from anonymous sources, Risen said the NSA spying program was launched in 2002 after the CIA began to capture high-ranking al-Qaida operatives overseas, and took their computers, cell phones and personal phone directories.
The CIA turned the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses from the material over to the NSA, which then began monitoring the phone numbers — in addition to anyone in contact with the telephone subscribers, the book said, saying this led to an expansion of the monitoring, both overseas and in the United States."
Interestingly enough, the AP article reports one little tidbit left out of the NYT's story:
"The book said the NSA does not need approval from the White House, the Justice Department or anyone else in the Bush administration before it begins eavesdropping on a specific phone line in the United States."
The AP has earned quite a reputation of ignoring the positive reports out of Iraq and painting with a broad brush of negativity. They have sunk to a new low by writing a "news" article that is essentially a promotional advertisement for a book. It is in effect just another "hit" against the Bush administration. The AP should stick to reporting the news - they have enough trouble with that.