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Hullabaloo


Thursday, June 13, 2013

 
I gotcher oversight for ya right heah ...

by digby

So, is everyone ok with this?

Appearing on Fox News’ America Live this afternoon, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called for the prosecution of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald for his reporting on the classified National Security Agency information given to him by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Republican congressman also likened Greenwald’s reporting to a hypothetical situation wherein World War II-era reporters had revealed the time and date of the so-called “D-Day” invasion, suggesting he believes the Guardian reporting is tantamount to treason.

“Not only did [Greenwald] disclose this information, he said he has names of CIA agents and assets around the world and threatening to disclose that,” King said when asked by host Megyn Kelly why he wants to prosecute the reporter. “I think [prosecuting reporters] should be very targeted and very selective and a rare exception. In this case, when you have someone who discloses secrets like this and threatens to release more, yes, there has to be legal action taken against him.”

He then asserted: “This is a very unusual case with life-and-death implications for Americans.”

Kelly asked the congressman what the difference is, then, between Greenwald and others who report on leaks, such as Fox News reporter James Rosen, who was famously targeted by a Department of Justice investigation for his role in reporting classified information about North Korea.

“Rosen never said he would release information that could kill Americans and release CIA operatives around the world. That, to me, is an attack against Americans, putting American lives at risk,” King replied.

Actually, Rosen is accused of putting a North Korean asset at risk and Greenwald's scoops do nothing of the sort, but let's not have the facts get in the way of Peter King's psychopathy.

The question I have for people who are defending the government's behaviors in these cases: is it really a good idea for someone like this man -- who as far as I can tell has absolutely NO integrity or even common sense --- to have access to America's biggest secrets?

This authoritarian abuser of the Bill of Rights serves on these three committees in the House:
Committee on Homeland Security
As chair, King serves as an ex officio member of all subcommittees.

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis and Counterintelligence

United States House Committee on Financial Services

Thank goodness a fine fellow such as him is performing those oversight duties. I feel so safe.

Look, I'm all for having better representatives and work to make that happen. If I had my way, Peter King would not be in congress and he most certainly would be let nowhere near the intelligence, Homeland Security and Financial Services committees. But I'm afraid there are always going to be people like him in government charged with overseeing the secret national security apparatus and caring for our rights. And as long as the government can create a series of Catch-22s that prevent anyone outside a very small group of representatives and jurists from having knowledge of these programs --- and even those who do being prevented from saying anything when they see abuses, c.f. Udall and Wyden --- the field will be tilted in favor of the Peter Kings who have no respect for the Constitution or the citizens of this country. Secrets and democracy are like oil and water.

It's not so much that he thinks journalists should be jailed. That's just creepy. It's that he clearly does not see any need whatsoever to balance the rights of the citizens against what he sees as threats. (Some terrorists are "good guys" dontcha know) He has never met a surveillance program he didn't defend and he clearly has no regard for the First and Fourth Amendments.

And this man, who obviously finds the US Constitution an nuisance at best, is out there condemning people for disobeying their oath to keep government's secrets. It's mind boggling.

Greenwald shouldn't feel alone, however. King has been agitating to jail members of the free press for quite some time. And during all that time he's either been chairman of the Homeland Security committee or the House Intelligence committee. Isn't oversight great?

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