By Morgan Watkins | June 21st, 2011
Despite the watering down of the whistleblower case against former National Security Agency employee Thomas Drake from felony charges to a single misdemeanor, the Obama administration is pressing forward with its next court case against a leaker.
The next target for the Justice Department is Stephen Kim, a South Korean arms expert accused of violating the Espionage Act by providing classified information to Fox News.
Prior to being charged by DOJ, Kim spent years discussing the potential threats posed by North Korea with various government officials.
The DOJ does not seem to be considering changes to its campaign against leakers despite the collapse of its high-profile case against Drake.
Kim is one of five leaker cases the government has pursued thus far, compared to three in all previous presidential administrations combined. There is also an ongoing grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks, the group responsible for publishing U.S. diplomatic cables and other secret documents online.
Kim began speaking about North Korea-related issues with Fox News reporter James Rosen in March 2009 after a press officer with the State Department asked him to do so.
Kim sent some emails using the pseudonym “Leo Grace.”
In June 2009 Rosen reported that the CIA had learned that, in response to a United Nations resolution expressing disapproval for North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, the government centered in the national capital of Pyongyang would probably react by increasing the number of tests and related activities.
– Morgan Watkins
Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).