ABC's Brian Ross had yet another breathless (and misleading) exclusive last night. Fired NSA analyst Russle Tice (apparently stripped of his security clearance and let go last year over "psychological concerns") is claiming to be "a" source for the NY Times' NSA story.
Note to the FBI investigators probing the leak: This guy ain't it. He may have chimed in after the NY Times got the story, but he certainly is not the original leaker. The timing of the story (right before the Patriot Act vote) points to a time-honored pressure tactic by political sources: when your original leak didn't make it into the paper, to have the originally intended impact (in this case right before the 2004 presidential election to harm President Bush), wait for an opportunity to make political hay. A year goes by and Risen's source sees the Patriot Act vote as another big opportunity. I'd bet the source threatened the Times that if they didn't publish that Friday, the story would be given to a competitor.