MODERATOR: Edward Wasserman, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Robert Baer, former CIA field operative
Matthew Cole, investigative reporter
Lee Levine, Levine, Sullivan, Koch and Schulz
John Rizzo, former CIA Chief Legal Officer
Scott Shane, The New York Times
Robert Baer was a CIA case officer in the Directorate of Operations from 1976 to 1997, where he served in Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq and Lebanon. He is the author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism.
Baer believes that there is evidence linking Iran to attacks on American interests, including the Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 U.S. soldiers in 1996. He says that Iran has been mishandled by U.S. diplomats since the 1980s and that American foreign policy regarding the Islamic Republic is based on myths and misinformation.
Matthew Cole is an investigative journalist, specializing in national security and intelligence issues. Most recently, Cole worked as a television producer at ABC News’ investigative unit. There, he garnered two Emmy nominations in 2011 for his coverage of the CIA and an al-Qaeda terrorist plot. His work has aired on Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline. While at ABC News, Cole broke several international stories, which include a CIA secret prison in Lithuania, and revelations that a missing Iranian nuclear scientist had in fact defected to the U.S. for the CIA. Cole has covered Blackwater, mercenaries, the expansion of JSOC, the CIA, and war crimes in Afghanistan. Prior to ABC, Cole was a contributing writer at ESPN the Magazine, and wrote features for GQ, New York, Salon, and Details among others. His work has been cited by the annual Best Sports Writing. Cole has filed or produced from Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as reporting in Egypt, Jordan, Dubai, Thailand, Lithuania, Italy and Panama. Cole graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and received a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He resides in New York.
Lee Levine is a founding partner of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz LLP. He has represented media clients in First Amendment-related cases for more than three decades. In the United States Supreme Court, he has argued for the media defendants in Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton and Bartnicki v. Vopper. He has also litigated in the courts of more than 20 states and the District of Columbia and has appeared in most federal courts of appeal and in the highest courts of ten states. Levine is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught media law since 1989. He is the lead author of the treatise Newsgathering and the Law, now in its fourth edition, and, along with the late Professor David Kohler, co-authored the casebook Media and the Law. Levine began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Irving R. Kaufman, then-Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
John Rizzo was an attorney at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 through 2009. He served as the CIA’s chief legal officer for seven years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2006, President George Bush nominated Rizzo for the position of CIA General Counsel, the first career CIA lawyer ever nominated to the post. Rizzo was a key player in the creation and implementation of all the Agency’s covert counter-terrorist actions undertaken in response to the 9/11 attacks. During the earlier years of his career, Rizzo served as CIA’s focal point with the Congressional investigations investigating the Iran-Contra affair in 1987. He also created the Agency’s policies governing its confidential relationships with the US media, academic and business communities. On retiring in 2009, he received the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the highest award given to a career CIA officer. Currently, Rizzo is Senior Counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson and a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution. Rizzo’s memoir will be published in January 2014.
Scott Shane is a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where he covers national security. He has written extensively about targeted killing under the Obama administration and the debate over torture during the Bush administration, and his 2007 articles on interrogation, written with several colleagues, were a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. More recently he has written about the anthrax investigation and Bruce Ivins, C.I.A. drone strikes in Pakistan, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and the prosecution of alleged leakers of classified information. In addition, he has written about the evolving terrorist threat, the reorganization of intelligence agencies, the government’s secret effort to reclassify historical documents and the explosion in federal contracting. From 1983 to 2004, he was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, covering a range of beats from courts to medicine and writing series of articles on brain surgery, schizophrenia, a drug corner, guns and crime and other topics. He was The Sun's Moscow correspondent from 1988 to 1991. In 1995, he co-wrote a six-part explanatory series of articles on the National Security Agency, the first major investigation of NSA since James Bamford's 1982 book The Puzzle Palace.
Edward Wasserman is dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Previously, he was the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He writes and speaks widely on matters related to media rights and wrongs, technological change, and media ownership and control.