A freelance reporter based in Oakland says her abilty to report the news will be damaged if she is forced to comply with a subpoena from the U.S. Army, which wants to know if she will verify the quotes she attributed to a soldier who is refusing to go to Iraq. “If conscientious objectors know that they can be prosecuted for speaking to the press and that the press will participate in their prosecution, it stands to reason that they would think twice before being public about their positions,” Sarah Olson told the Chronicle. “What we need in this country now is more dialogue and not less.”

The Chronicle points out that the Army doesn’t want Olson to reveal any confidential information — which is the crux of the case against Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, are appealing prison sentences of up to 18 months for refusing to reveal their sources of grand jury testimony in the Balco steroids case. She is only being asked to verify the accuracy of the quotes she attributed to 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who faces up to six years in prison if convicted of refusing to deploy with his unit. Olson said she feels like she is being used as a tool of the prosecution. [Press Club, Thursday: Oakland freelancer gets military subpoena] [AP: Army subpoenas journalists over officer’s Iraq quotes]

SF Press Club News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>