AP explains why it published story about missing American

Associated Press

Publishing this article was a difficult decision,” Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll writes about Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman’s story about Robert Levinson. Levinson, they report, is a former FBI agent who has been missing for more than six years after performing work for the CIA in Iran.

Apuzzo and Goldman have been reporting the story since 2010 and AP “agreed three times to delay publishing the story because the U.S. government said it was pursuing promising leads to get him home,” they write in their piece. (Goldman now works at The Washington Post, which published a version of the story Thursday.)

Those efforts have “hit a wall,” Carroll writes.

In the absence of any solid information about Levinson’s whereabouts, it has been impossible to judge whether publication would put him at risk. It is almost certain that his captors already know about the CIA connection but without knowing exactly who the captors are, it is difficult to know whether publication of Levinson’s CIA mission would make a difference to them. That does not mean there is no risk. But with no more leads to follow, we have concluded that the importance of the story justifies publication.

Related: Why The Washington Post published (The Huffington Post)

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  • KoWT

    The scandalous factor, as I see it, is that they waited so long to publish, not that they finally decided to publish over 3 years later.