Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) appeared on CNN tonight with Anderson Cooper, and his comments about prosecuting journalists who leak classified material caught the attention of a certain Glenn Greenwald, who on Tuesday teased that The Guardian intends to “pursue every last one” of dozens of stories generated by the leak of classified documents by Edward Snowden.
Did Peter King just say we should prosecute journalists covering the NSA story?
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) June 12, 2013
See for yourself.
Who knows what might happen? As The Washington Post’s Barton Gellman explained Sunday, both The Post and The Guardian are sitting on the majority of the slides detailing the government’s PRISM program, teasing only that if you saw the slides, you’d know why. Gellman likened the unpublished slides to a “bomb recipe.”
@NomDePlume9 We assessed USG arguments ourselves. Very little changed in the story. Many obvious no-gos. Picture a bomb recipe.
— Barton Gellman (@bartongellman) June 12, 2013
The government’s moral high ground in the privacy debate has of course been compromised by revelations that Fox News’ James Rosen was accused of being a co-conspirator under the Espionage Act for his reporting, though, following public outrage, the administration now insists it never intended to prosecute.
King has already called for Snowden to be extradited and prosecuted for leaking classified information. So, should Greenwald be worried? The public doesn’t seem to have any taste for prosecuting members of the press.
Peter King, NY representative, wants journalists punished for #NSA leak. Welcome to the gulag America!
Now is the last chance to be heard!
— PISSEDOFFtinfoilhat (@AzulayRomond) June 12, 2013
IT'S CALLED A POLICE STATE – KING. WOW! SURE GOT YOUR NAME RIGHT, DIDN'T THEY? http://t.co/sy1G9OjhE7
— Desert Cactus (@DesertCactus) June 12, 2013
— James O'Rourke (@JORourkeT800) June 12, 2013
Only proper response to GOP Rep. Peter King's 'journalists goto jail for reporting' would be to "go f*ck yourself, King" @andersoncooper
— Glen Mo (@moglenmo) June 12, 2013
Peter King(R-NY) says journalists who assist whistleblowers should be prosecuted. Framers of the constitution have shot in to the atmosphere
— Darth Oni-chan D-Go (@GunMetalJackal) June 12, 2013
@ggreenwald that's how they deal with the press in police states…
— Vão Catar Coquinho (@filipe_barini) June 12, 2013
Here’s an interesting hypothetical: if the press hadn’t decided to publish selected bits of the PRISM information, would Snowden simply have uploaded it himself or passed it along to Wikileaks?
@ggreenwald Principle even aside, that's totally confused. The information gets out w/ or w/o journalist intermediation.
— Curt Monash (@CurtMonash) June 12, 2013
There is one qualifier to King’s statement that’s gone largely overlooked, and that’s his concern over the magnitude of the leak and its consequences to national security. Just what is in that “bomb recipe” that Gellman teased?