Rep. Peter King (R) on NSA Leaks: Prosecute the Journalists
June 12, 2013 4:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
and other journalists involved in the publication of details of the
U.S. National Security Agency
program to secretly spy on Americans
should be charged and face prison time.
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
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.
AG Eric Holder has considered charging journalists in previous leaks. [Image Source: AP]
AG Holder also supervised a program to
monitor dozens of
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
-- 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
(Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act.
The FBI is drafting chargers against the leaker, and possibly journalists.
[Image Source: Alamy]
the leaker outed himself
as Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA who worked at Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp (
). 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.
CNN on YouTube
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6/13/2013 2:59:34 PM
BRB29, I'm not a conspiracy theorist because it's hard to get actual facts to prove that stuff, but given our politicians track record in during my years, no...just, no. The kinds of individuals so out of touch with the modern world still running our gov't should not have this kind of power. No not everyone is crooked, but this type of broad power is just too much for people that we vote into office. I don't completely disagree with your feeling that we need these police powers to keep us safe, but what makes you so incredibly sure these powers will be abused?? Given what we've watched over the recent years, you're comfortable with this? When we as a society know for sure that those we vote into power won't betray us and abuse their executive powers, then I'd feel safe giving the authorities these surveillance abilities.
But seriously, who are you trying to kid?
These politicians cannot turn down the mighty dollar, even the non-crooked ones can't outshine their phoney peers. You might say if I'm so afraid to give up these powers cause they "might" be abused, then we should we give these powers if they "might" keep us safe.
That line everyone keeps saying, "a little bit of safety, traded for your rights, you deserve neither." To me it rings true because it's silly to give up your rights to the hands of politicians that are so out of tune with reality. Do you ever watch politicians vote on topics they often know nothing about? It's a total circle jerk.
SOPA/CISPA -- we barely know how to use the internet, but we'll vote on it anyway because the industry experts (MPAA/RIAA) know this is how to fix counterfeit goods/piracy. All the major tech companies that think they know the internet like Hollywood, but politicians saw right threw the techies, Hollywood/mpaa/riaa/insert-lobbyist know best.
Reading what you write BRB29, you seem to have a lot of reasoning in your beliefs. You remind me so much of how I used to think, and that anything else everyone said was a conspiracy theorist or just plain looney, but the years have whittled my moral-high-regard for our gov't far too thin. I don't know how you can still trust most of these guys.
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