Rep. Peter King (R) on NSA Leaks: Prosecute the Journalists
June 12, 2013 4:00 PM
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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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RE: Where was the shock and outrage when all this started?
6/13/2013 10:23:40 PM
Radical, first off I'm not your buddy. I don't know you and based on your response, I don't think I would like to get to know you.
But to the point, I understand the constitution and from a strict perspective, there is nothing in the words that you printed nor the ones on the parchment itself that lead me to believe that the government violated your rights. There was no search of your property. You don't own your cell phone transaction records anymore than YOU own the record or the toothpicks you purchased as WalMart. Your person was no where near those records and neither was your property. You left a digital fingerprint like the fingerprints you leave on the cigarette machine. You left them behind and the government copied them down in case a crime is reported that can be linked to that evidence. You see? That was my point. If you love the constitution so much, you should really try to understand what it says and means.
now I also see that there is interpretation that comes on top of the hallowed words, which helps make the constitution more elastic to meet requirements of modern times. So if you feel that you would like to interpret the extent of your property to include the records of transactions you leave behind...then I guess you are right to be outraged at the breach of your constitutional rights...but you didn't make that point and I don't think you are currently sitting on a federal court empowered to make those types of interpretations.
Next, the Patriot Act -- You really should read the thing, it's awful and i think designed to thwart a normal citizen from getting through the details. It's basically and extension and broadening of several existing tools like FISA and other to allow for easier access to data by the feds. You again go back to the constitution like that will fix everything in the law. If the law is not constitutional, then someone needs to take a case to court and have the courts rule on the legality (constitutionality) of the legislation. In this case. it's been challenged several times and parts of it have been called unconstitionally vague, but not the parts you would think and in the end it's still there.
As to my fears, personally, I'm not afraid of terrorism, no more than I'm afraid of lighting, hurricanes or big tornadoes...but I don't live in areas that have frequent association with those events, so that's not surprising. But...I do think that the US government does have cause to be concerned with terrorism and I don't fault people that are wary of terrorist attacks...But that's off subject again...
On the point of guns, I do think that there are a number of folks that want to limit the types of firearms that produced and sold in the country and I don't like that. I'm a gun owner and I like my sporting guns and I enjoy shooting for sport. I also see that there are folks out there that like to hunt and guns are a big part of that practice. I just can't think of a single gun right that Obama has taken away from me. I'm trying hard, but please correct me if I missed one. I think if anything guns laws have become more relaxed under the current administration (federally). I'm not 100% sure on this point, but please give me some examples if you have them.
I do like the whole what Obama says versus what he's done argument. I think I heard some NRA nut talking about the tricky Obama in his first term lulling the masses into thinking that he wasn't going to take there guns only as a plan to really get them in his second term. Talk about conspiracy nuts...and eyes rolling....facts are facts, if you have them, use them.
on your last point, you again head out into conspiracy land...I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm not saying your right, I'm just saying that you should spend less time listening to late night talk radio. anyway corporatism is a whole topic unto itself.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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