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  (Source: CNN)
Homeland Security committee member things freedom of the press in the U.S. is growing tiresome

What do President Barack Obama (D) and Rep. Peter King (R- N.Y.) have in common?  They are none too happy about the sources and the journalists involved in the publication of secrets on the NSA snooping on Americans.

I. Forget Freedom of the Press, Says Rep. King

In an interview with Anderson Cooper last night, Rep. King, who sits on the House Homeland Security committee, said that Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian and other journalists involved in the publication of details of the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) program to secretly spy on Americans should be charged and face prison time.

He comments:

Actually, if they willing knew that this was classified information, I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude.  I know that the whole issue of leaks has been gone into over the last month. I think something on this magnitude, there is an obligation, both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.

President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder has reportedly carried out campaigns to spy on a Fox News reporter who was involved in the publication of leaked intelligence details on North Korea.  In that case, AG Holder signed early documents suggesting that the journalist -- James Rosen -- was considered a "co-conspirator" to the leaker and could face criminal charges.  The effort to charge the journalists was ultimately dropped as the investigation proceeded, but drew substantial criticism.

Eric Holder
AG Eric Holder has considered charging journalists in previous leaks. [Image Source: AP]

AG Holder also supervised a program to monitor dozens of Associated Press phone lines in an effort to hunt down the person who leaked details of a foiled bomb plot.

The Obama administration has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act (18 U.S.C. § 792) offenses as all the previous administrations before him (since the Act was passed in 1917) combined.  But he's only been able to do that thanks to support of the practices by members of Congress, including House Republicans like Rep. King.

II. FBI Works Towards Charging Whistleblower

News of the long rumored NSA spying -- funded by Barack Obama's "big data" spending program -- broke last week.  Details of two programs -- a narrow, more aggressive program dubbed PRISM and a broad, ubiquitous unnamed phone records seizure program leaked.  According to the Obama administration the PRISM effort involved the seizure of email and chat records, but was meant to target suspected terrorists -- most foreigners -- and was limited to a small number of individuals.

By contrast the phone records seizure tracked the majority of U.S. citizens -- including those who never communicated with a foreigner and never were suspected of committing a crime.  The Obama administration sought to downplay this spying saying it was "only metadata".  However, that "metadata" contained records of who you talked to and when, plus tracked the locations of citizens on a daily basis.

Both programs were authorized under the Oct. 2001 USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act.

FBI masked agent
The FBI is drafting chargers against the leaker, and possibly journalists.
[Image Source: Alamy]

On Sunday, the leaker outed himself as Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA who worked at Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp (BAH).  Rep. King was among the first to call on him to be charged.  The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is rumored be currently drafting up those charges.  Mr. Snowden is rumored to be holed up at a safe house in Hong Kong.

Source: CNN on YouTube

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Perjury or Traitor
By drlumen on 6/12/2013 4:34:57 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't it part of the oath that Senators and Reps take is for them to protect and uphold the constitution?

I think Rep. Peter King should be brought up on charges. He knew about and likely approved of the NSA spying but let it slide. He is now actively compounding those charges by additional shredding of the first amendment. So, should the charges be perjury or for being a traitor?

RE: Perjury or Traitor
By lennylim on 6/12/2013 7:57:04 PM , Rating: 3
What perjury?

Perjury is lying under oath when testifying.

And as long as all he's doing is talking about prosecuting Snowden, well, that's his first amendment right, isn't it?

Personally I think he's full of shit. But what's worth noting is that politicians say what they think will win them votes with their constituents. That so many of them from both sides are spouting pro-PRISM rhetoric is what I'm most concerned about.

RE: Perjury or Traitor
By boeush on 6/12/2013 8:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Neither. Breaking the oath of office, in itself, is not a criminal offence to my knowledge (perhaps it should be, though...)

However Clapper, who actually told the Senate in no uncertain words that no such wide-spread data collection on millions of Americans was happening, certainly did very clearly perjure himself:

As a consequence Clapper, at least, should immediately lose his job and come under criminal sanction for his overtly illegal and premeditated act.

As for King, he can lose his job when the next election cycle comes around (assuming his constituency cares at all about either the Constitution or the rule of law...)

RE: Perjury or Traitor
By lagomorpha on 6/13/2013 6:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
As for King, he can lose his job when the next election cycle comes around (assuming his constituency cares at all about either the Constitution or the rule of law...)

He's from New York so no, his constituency does not care for the Constitution or the rule of law.

RE: Perjury or Traitor
By marvdmartian on 6/13/2013 7:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
Peter King is, and always has been (and likely always will be) a RINO...Republican in name only. It's the only way, really, for a "conservative" to get elected in that state anymore, as the left-leaning voters outweigh the right-leaning voters (due, primarily, to the NYC area).

That being said, he has indeed seem to have forgotten his oath, and the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. Not really a surprise, though, during this current administration, is it??

RE: Perjury or Traitor
By ClownPuncher on 6/14/2013 1:42:05 PM , Rating: 3
IMO, Holder, King and Obama should lose their jobs.

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