Rep. King Calls For Wikileaks To Be Declared Terrorist Organization And For Assange To Be Prosecuted As Spy

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has called for WikiLeaks to be officially designated as a terrorist organization. This would, of course, allow the same designation for The New York Times and other organizations to be declared terrorists for publishing leaked stories on torture, secret prisons, or the Pentagon Papers.

King has asked for the Administration “determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization.” He noted “WikiLeaks appears to meet the legal criteria . . . WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.” King also demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder “criminally charge WikiLeaks activist Julian Assange under the Espionage Act” for conspiracy to disclose classified information.

I previously testified at a House Intelligence Committee hearing where members pushed for new laws to criminalize publishing classified material by journalists. King appears intent on restarting that effort. With Democrats like Claire McCaskill calling for prosecutions, we could be entering a very dangerous period for press freedom in our country. Democrats are still smarting over the leaking of embarrassing stories showing that their leadership knew about the torture program and other abuses during the Bush Administration. As noted by Sen. Rockefeller, many members long for the period when the public had less coverage and were not so critical of their conduct in office.

The Bush Administration showed that Congress failed miserably in its oversight of intelligence programs. It was the media (and whistleblowers) who told the public of crimes committed by our government and revealed violations of international and domestic laws. Members in Congress have an obvious interest in chilling such disclosures and asserting their own control of information going to the public.

According to the Senator Graham, any disclosures of national security material must be prosecuted as a threat to national security “at a time of war.” The use of espionage and terrorism laws in such cases would move us squarely in the same camp as such countries as China, which routinely use such prosecutions to punish people for embarrassing stories.

As the incoming Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, one cannot dismiss these statements are coming from the fringe of American politics despite King’s past controversial statements (here, here).

Source: CNET

62 thoughts on “Rep. King Calls For Wikileaks To Be Declared Terrorist Organization And For Assange To Be Prosecuted As Spy”

  1. It’s hard not to suspect Rep. King AND Rep. Hoekstra of Michigan as the people who actually GAVE the government secrets to Wikileaks.. THEY should be prosecuted for TREASON!!

  2. U.S. Pressured Germany Not To Prosecute CIA Officers For Torture And Rendition

    November 29, 2010

    Wikileaks Release Reveals Meeting About ACLU Client Khaled El-Masri

    NEW YORK – The Bush administration pressured Germany not to prosecute CIA officers responsible for the kidnapping, extraordinary rendition and torture of German national Khaled El-Masri, according to a document made public Sunday night by Wikileaks. The document, a 2007 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, describes a meeting during which the then-deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Germany, John M. Koenig, urged German officials to “weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.” of issuing international arrest warrants in the El-Masri case. (end excerpt)

  3. Pretty soon, there will be misdemeanor “terrorist” offenders. “He terrorized my lawn with his dog!” “She terrorized my ears with her loud hip-hop!” At what point do we draw the line?

    Now, of course, the WikiLeaks affair is far more significant than dog poo and bad music, but the point here is that we can’t just throw the “terrorist” tag at every issue of every kind. The law, with regards to this sort of reporting, is vague and complex. We don’t have simple, standardized, legal parameters for dealing with WikiLeaks.

    Perhaps Peter King has some novel way of dealing with this, but he certainly hasn’t revealed it (or any other novel idea, for that matter) here.


  4. Sarah Palin:

    “Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked,” she wrote, “but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?

    Where’s a grizzly bear “gone wild” when you need it?

  5. eniobob,

    Regarding “a voice of reason and clarity”, it’s good to know that I can still laugh.. Thanks. (And I haven’t even read the article yet…)

  6. But good god, Buddha, they are such morons … if one changes one’s point of viewing for just a moment … these clowns are incompetent. Before 9/11 none of them could read the signs or be bothered to read the reports. Now we have a supposed new crew … reorganized intelligence and security agencies … people who claim to be experts in protecting us all … one lone guy thwarts them with a simple idea and a simple CD-RW … not just once but over and over.

    They can all jump up and down till they’re red in the face, cry foul till their voice-boxes crack … they were asleep at the switch … again. Morons.

  7. anon nurse,

    If you keep quoting the Centauri ambassador, I might get a crush. The full quote though is “h, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you!” 😉 I have my own Earth Force insignia badge thus through validation of my geek credentials. I will have to say though that one of my favorite Babylon 5 quotes comes from his assistant, Vir, when asked “What do YOU want?” by Mr. Morden:

    “I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this. (waves) Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?”

  8. Blouise,

    The beautiful thing about engineered solutions is there is no such thing as a perfect engineered solution. There are always flaws to be exploited or work arounds to be found.

  9. Yep, Blouise… the old proverbial cannons pointed in the wrong direction, at least at times…

    “Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package.”

    -“Londo Mollari”

    (Marnie, 🙂 )

  10. anon nurse 1, November 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    “Well, I’ll be darned. Maybe there’s hope afterall, folks.”


  11. The truthiness shall set you free.
    But more importantly it has kept this a free country for 200 years why stop now?

  12. And to think we gave these idiots billions in tax dollars to straighten out our security after their dismal failure that resulted in 9/11. One loan guy with a CD-RW …

    THWACK … that’s the sound of another barn door closing

  13. [youtube=]

    This hasn’t been working for me… Trying to post the following:

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