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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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By conq on 6/13/2013 9:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
The outrage and indignation at the "OBAMA" government intrusion into our privacy

I don't watch a whole of TV so I don't know what the media is saying but as for myself or anyone I know, everyone knows this has been going on for some time and was thrown into high gear during the Bush administration. That doesn't make it any more "OK".

They are prosecuting a war with very hard to find people, using every tool at their disposal...and I'm okay with that
Every tool at their disposal would also include scheduling random raids and establishing check points a la airport security. I skeptical you'd be "OK" with that so I call BS on the belief of every tool should be used. But let's put aside discussions of civil and personal liberties aside for one moment since we don't see eye to eye on that level. Instead, let's focus on the statistics of costs and benefits. I would love to see some numbers there to see what benefit the entire multibillion dollar project has really given us. I suspect there's a hard reason the government keeps these statistics close the the vest and not going any further than saying it's a "complimentary" tool in the effort.

The gov't isn't out to get me. There is no conspiracy to take away my rights and no one is going to bust down my door to remove my guns.

On one hand I understand your argument because I used to be of the same opinion for the past decade+. There is no conspiracy, they're doing their job. But I used to think that because I was a "nobody", i.e. not a person of interest to anyone outside of work, friends, and family. The "somebody's" where those people way over there, not me over here. I was happily doing my job, surfing the net, playing my games, and ignoring politics. But as soon as you become a "somebody" yourself, especially if you ever remotely got involved in any form of protest, movement, or group in any form whatsoever but especially a group suspected of having some .000001% chance of some fringe violent activities you'll start getting hassled. Getting personally involved in a protest and having a dozen pictures of me taken by police opened my eyes and made me realize that's all it takes to become a person of interest. I've become the bad guy to them because there's a .000001% chance I might do something to harm the general public. And of course as soon as I'm publicly or privately painted that way with any remote shred of evidence that would most likely be taken out of context and exacerbated there will be plenty of people in the public that would casually say, "just send him to court, put him in jail, make him go through the legal system, get his own lawyer, lose his job, subpoena his personal belongings, lose his friends and family, tarnish his record... you know, just to be on the safe side". It doesn't take much for the government to ruin your life. And don't even get me started on Homeland Security, no wonder our deficit is egregious out of proportion. Throw another 100 billion dollars away! No it's not a conspiracy, they're doing their job to try to keep everyone "safe", or better put, make everyone feel "safe". That's what I'd call tyranny's incubator, and I'd much rather nip it in the bud now before someone can really abuse this power on a whole new scale.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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