Congressman Peter King Wants to Prosecute Reporters Who Publish Leaked Material; Criticizes Wyden for Putting Clapper in 'Unwinnable' Situation


Rep. Peter King (R-New York) went on CNN yesterday for a two-minute paean to unfettered executive power:

Every politician and commentator and citizen who mouths King-like denunciations of Edward Snowden's leaks needs to run, not walk, to this great Reuters column on the topic by Jack Shafer. Excerpt:

[E]ven as the insults pile up and the amateur psychoanalysis intensifies, keep in mind that Snowden's leak has more in common with the standard Washington leak than should make the likes of [David] Brooks, [David] Simon and [Richard] Cohen comfortable. Without defending Snowden for breaking his vow to safeguard secrets, he's only done in the macro what the national security establishment does in the micro every day of the week to manage, manipulate and influence ongoing policy debates. […]

Secrets are sacrosanct in Washington until officials find political expediency in either declassifying them or leaking them selectively. […] For instance, President George W. Bush's administration declassified or leaked whole barrels of intelligence, raw and otherwise, to convince the public and Congress making war on Iraq was a good idea. Bush himself ordered the release of classified prewar intelligence about Iraq through Vice President Dick Cheney and Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to New York Times reporter Judith Miller in July 2003.

Sometimes the index finger of government has no idea of what the thumb is up to. In 2007, Vice President Cheney went directly to Bush with his complaint about what he considered to be a damaging national security leak in a column by the Washington Post's David Ignatius. "Whoever is leaking information like this to the press is doing a real disservice, Mr. President," Cheney said. Later, Bush's national security adviser paid a visit to Cheney to explain that Bush, um, had authorized him to make the leak to Ignatius.

In 2010, NBC News reporter Michael Isikoff detailed similar secrecy machinations by the Obama administration[.]

Please do read the whole thing.

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  1. Geez I hate that guy. But on the other hand he looks like Walter Bishop on Fringe. And I like Walter Bishop. So maybe I am more conflicted than I want to admit.

    1. But on the other hand he looks like Walter Bishop on Fringe. And I like Walter Bishop.

      This. Every time I see him I expect pleasant but a bit strange, and then BAM! It’s actually Peter King as Walternate.

  2. That’s why he’s the peter king!

  3. first, unmediated peter Noraid king is an hysterical sociopath, but everyone knows that

    second, remember the nytimes “leaking” the bank surveillance program back in 2006? that “vital tool” was no more vitally-required-to-be-kept secret than these recent farts about bloated, self-serving bureaucratic overreach.

    1. Unmediated? Do you mean ‘unmedicated’? And does that mean that understanding him requires him to be on drugs or me to be on drugs?

      1. david (crease-boner) brooks was waxing sniffy and power-worshippy the other day in the nytimes: “From what we know so far, Edward Snowden appears to be the ultimate unmediated man.”

        We are all unmediated now.

  4. So the Obama administration uses the Espionage Act more than every other administration ever combined, and Peter King says, “eh”?

    God, what fucking fascist. Let’s everyone hope that he and everyone he loves gets cancer.

    1. Congressman King loves everyone, especially Americans, but not terrorists. So in reality you’re hoping everyone except terrorists gets cancer, because Peter King loves us so much and will do whatever it takes to ensure our safety.

    2. Step 1. Build a replicant based on King’s psychological profile for optimum sexual attraction.
      Step 2. Set him up to meet the replicant at one of his favorite haunts. Probably a Dairy Queen.
      Step 3. He has an affair with the replicant and falls in love.
      Step 4. Inject the replicant with AIDS, force King to watch helplessly as it dies.

  5. But Snowden wasn’t authorized to leak that information to us. The government knows that ‘the facts of the matter’ can sometimes appear to be complicated and confusing and seem to the untrained eye to be other than black-and-white. Therefore, they leak to us the information that helps us understand the reality of the situation and keep from us those distracting details which the enemies of truth and justice and the American Way might use to twist into an alternative narrative, to mislead us into thinking that the simple truth isn’t so simple.

    In this case, the simple truth is that Big Brother is here to protect you from all the scary monsters and you have nothing to fear. And what has Snowden accomplished by his leak? Why, he has confused and misled some people into thinking Big Brother is himself the scary monster!

    Now some people (and you know who you are) may try to defend this sort of thing on the grounds of free speech and the public’s right to know, but this is a silly argument. No rights are absolute, your rights must end where my rights begin. I have a right to feel safe and secure in my blissful ignorance and no man has the right to rob me of that by forcing me to learn things I would rather not know.

    1. I actually get this argument from some friends acquaintances.

      1. friends acquaintances people I know people I thought I knew

    2. Well done. Do you work in the Obama administration?

    3. I have a right to feel safe and secure in my blissful ignorance and no man has the right to rob me of that

      And *that*, Friends, is *not* “open to debate”!

      1. I have a right to feel safe and secure in my blissful ignorance free from gun violence with a well compensated Officer McFriendly at every street corner, a competent teacher in every classroom and no man has the right to rob me of that

  6. Excellent kingthink characterization. I find it humorous how Snowden is being painted as a coward for not staying around to get shuttered into a box. If his critics would take the time to really listen to the interview, they would notice that he mentioned wanting to be around to testify on record. Dead men tell no tales.

    1. and as another poster noted a day or so ago, whistleblowers don’t feel the need to leave a country that prizes liberty.

  7. Dear Representative King,

    Fuck off, slaver.


  8. How do New Yorkers consistently elect the most loathsome human beings imaginable?

    1. It isn’t called the Empire state for nothing.

    2. Because people with honesty and integrity do not seek political office in New York?

      1. I dont know how to make a strike-through, so I will just fix that for you by amending it.

        “Because people with honesty and integrity do not seek political office.”

        1. On that note I will tell I will tell a cute little story.

          Last night was girl’s night for my wife and her buddies. I go along as the designated driver.

          Every tuesday night for years now they go to copeland’s. I hate it. I sit at the table, eat oysters, stare at the tv and wish I was home while they babble on about girl stuff.

          Last night I noted this guy sitting at the bar with a date. Hawaiian shirt and dark sunglasses. He is slobbering all over his date. One of my wife’s buddies noted that last week he was there with a different date but acting the same.

          The guy is too loud and overly confident, making a spectacle of himself.

          A cute busty blonde got up from a table behind us and headed for the rest room. As she went by the bar this guy jumps up and puts his arms around her. He gives her a big kiss on the cheek.

          She looks like a fly caught in a spider web, very uncomfortable.

          1. He pulls her close and says in her ear, loud enough for me to hear ” I would love to bite your nipples!”

            She got a horrified look on her face, pushed him away and scampered off to the bathroom. When she returned and sat at her table she was obviously telling her companions what happened. They all got up and left.

            In the mean time this guy is accosting nearly every half-way attractive woman that passes the bar. His date looks like she wants to run.

            When the guy starts making the rounds of the tables and gets us in his sights my wife said ” Oh shit here he comes. Suthenboy, either hit him in the head with a chair or lets get the fuck out of here.”

            Not wanting to spend the night in jail I said “here we go.” . We all got up and left.

            1. Once outside one of my wifes buddies, who works in HR at a state institution, told us “that scumbag is a legislator from somewhere south of here.” . She has a photo of him arm in arm with Bobby Jindal.

              Point of the story: Government is filled with the worst kinds of men.

              1. Politics is rock and roll for the ugly.

                1. Uh, have you seen Steven Tyler?

                  (The correct phrase is “Hollywood for the ugly.”)

                  1. Sure have. I’ve been trying for years to wrap my mind around the fact that Liv Tyler resembles her father but at the same time is quite easy on the eyes.

  9. As people have said frequently: Releasing vital information to the enemy is treasonous. So if these reporters are guilty of treason, then the American public is the enemy.

  10. Dude tells public that their government is violating the law and engaging in egregious acts of tyranny and telling bald faced lies to public.

    Government is outraged that Dude broke his oath not to tell on them.

    Dude is whistleblower or traitor?

  11. Point of the story: Government is filled with the worst kinds of men.

    I cannot muster the energy to feign surprise.

  12. Mmmm, I love the smell of American two-party crypto-fascism in the spring air! I feel so “free!” Fuck the two parties and their crypto-fascist two-party sheep. Vote third party or get ready to kiss fascism on the lips in 50 years, if not sooner.

    1. Needs more “fascist.”

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