Free Press

Info in AP 'Leak' Was About To Be Announced by the Government

And that was a ... security risk?

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For five days, reporters at the Associated Press had been sitting on a big scoop about a foiled al-Qaeda plot at the request of CIA officials. Then, in a hastily scheduled Monday morning meeting, the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing the story for just one more day.

The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.

AP balked and proceeded to publish that Monday afternoon. Its May 2012 report is now at the center of a controversial and broad seizure of phone records of AP reporters' home, office and cellphone lines.