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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 lagomorpha on 6/13/2013 10:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
Any philosophy ends up being pretty destructive when taken to the extreme, even pacifism or pragmatism.


By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 10:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
yea kinda like Islam?


By karimtemple on 6/13/2013 11:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
Islam is part of the superset "any," lol, so yeah like Islam.


By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 11:36:39 AM , Rating: 2
I know, it's just the first one that would pop in anyone's mind. They seem to be all over the news everyday and it's never anything good.


By karimtemple on 6/13/2013 1:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
When I was younger I was a practicing Muslim. I'm irreligious now.

The sad thing about the "Islam" you see on TV is a lot of Muslims honestly have a relatively poor understanding of their book (the Qur'an), similar to the bulk of Christians. It seems sad yet benign until you consider that most of these countries are theocratic. So ultimately, the main thrust of the problem isn't the extremists at all (the extremists are generally hated in the Muslim world, actually), it's the fringe middle that is neither empowered nor even motivated to push back and police their crazies.

It's really a lot like how people say men and women communicate differently, except if the men and women were armed to the teeth and have been pissed off at each other for decades.


By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 2:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
what I'm getting from the Muslims are that you are free to interpret the Quran however you want. That made a lot of extremists who used the religion of Islam and manipulated their followers.

Regardless if the majority is still good, the small percentage of crazies in their religion is still much higher than others. It is causing problems around the world and the peaceful ones will be the people bearing the blame most of the time.

To be fair, at one point Christianity had plenty of crazies too.


By karimtemple on 6/13/2013 4:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
At the end of the day, Christianity wouldn't fare better than Islam if it was in Islam's place. Those people are in a bad way, and for the better part of the last century we've all pissed gasoline into the flames. Nobody knows what the hell they're doing. The world is run by third-graders.


By JediJeb on 6/13/2013 4:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it's the fringe middle that is neither empowered nor even motivated to push back and police their crazies.


Sounds like the American citizenry.


By lagomorpha on 6/13/2013 5:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So ultimately, the main thrust of the problem isn't the extremists at all (the extremists are generally hated in the Muslim world, actually), it's the fringe middle that is neither empowered nor even motivated to push back and police their crazies.


Perhaps a good way to say it is that the problem with Islam is that it discourages moderation. The crazies are always able to be vocal but anyone that voices moderation is accused of being an apostate which is a dangerous position to be in and as a result Islam tends to get more extreme over time and has no brakes on it.


By lagomorpha on 6/13/2013 12:54:16 PM , Rating: 3
Islam is an exception. It's destructive even in moderation.


By karimtemple on 6/13/2013 1:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
A tragic misconception.


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