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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Journalists do not have classified information it is their job to write about anything they have facts or opinions about!!
6/13/2013 11:27:58 PM
For a writer or journalist there is no such thing as classified information! When they are fortunate to stumble upon what they feel should be public knowledge they have the right to write about the facts they know! That's their job!! Why should it be any different for them to do when they obtain classified government information then if it was about another figure in the publics eye?? Aren't we suppose to be aware of what's going on in our country anyways so we can decide to agree with what's being done and continue to live in this country or disagree and find another place to live who's government we do agree with?? We're suppose to be land of the free.. But with the media & government censorship are we really land of the free or land of the blind because we're fine with being kept in the dark & only being told about what the government thinks we should know??! I don't care about the extremes they have to take in order to keep us living safely in this country and keep this country as safe as possible from terrorists but to keep information from us and pick and choose what we should or shouldn't know is unnecessary because when sharing this kind information as with anything else you will have supporters and people who are against it so who cares!!!
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