How State Department Worker Ended Up In Prison For Talking To Reporter


The Intercept tells the story of Stephen Kim, a former State Department employee who is serving a federal prison term for speaking to Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2009. Rosen was covering a nuclear test conducted by North Korea two weeks earlier, and posted a story saying that the U.S. believed that the North Koreans would perform a second nuclear test if the United Nations imposed sanctions on them.

It wasn’t much of a story by most standards but the Obama administration was intensifying its effort to crack down on leakers and whistleblowers; the FBI soon launched an investigation. Because Rosen used phones that were easy to trace and twice left the building at the same time as Kim, it was simple for the FBI to zero in on whom he talked with that day. Last year, Kim pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act. The Intercept calls him “the latest victim in an unprecedented crackdown on leaks; so far, the Obama administration has prosecuted more than twice as many leak cases under the Espionage Act as all previous administrations combined.”

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