Rep Pete King (R-NY) is on a crusade against those he considers treasonous: members of the press. What's worse is that he is the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and he has the power to act on his maniacal paranoia and misguided, overblown rhetoric.
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists.
Rep. Peter King cited The New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.
King, R-N.Y., said he would write Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging that the nation's chief law enforcer "begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times - the reporters, the editors and the publisher."
"We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press.
Now think about that for a moment.
One would think, logically, that if King is concerned about revelations involving state secrets, he would be attempting to have Gonzales investigate the leaker
- not the messenger. But, as we witnessed in the Plame case, the Republicans just aim their so-called arrows and don't really care where they land.This
is what's really driving King's rage:
He charged that the paper was "more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda than it is about the security of the American people."
So, that 'left-wing elitist agenda' violates the constitution's right to a free press and freedom of speech? I thought the consitution was a document expressing freedoms and rights for all political parties and views. Apparently not.
It seems the only parts of the constitution Republicans are interested in protecting are those they assume allow their leader to act illegaly since they've completely surrendered their role as providing checks and balances on behalf of their real
constituents - the American people. No, suddenly, all congressional Republicans believe their role is to act at the pleasure of the president - no matter what he does. It's one of the most blatant subversions of democracy the public has witnessed in a very long time. And Republicans make absolutely no apologies for that.
So, what's the press to do?
It's bad enough that they slept through the run up to the Iraq war by publishing all of the propaganda fed to them by the White House. But now that they've decided to actually do their civic duty to report the truth
, they're suddenly 'left-wing elitists'. Perhaps King didn't get the memo that no one buys that old argument anymore. Facts
do not have a political bias. Only propaganda does and the Republicans know they are desperately losing the message war that they've controlled for so long in an attempt to fend off another Watergate. The problem is that this administration practically begs to be leaked on considering its cone of silence.
The White House lies. The Pentagon lies. Politicians lie. That's business as usual in DC. The responsibility of the press is to get past the lies and distortions to the actual truth of matters of great concern to the public. But now, when they do so and it is not to the right-wing's liking, they are being 'treasonous' - only when the Republicans find stories that may damage them though. As far as they're concerned, any stories that might bring to light the misadventures of the left are fair game. They're just too used to living in Rove Land.
The NYT would do well to never publish another positive word about King. But, that's not their job. They're don't have some hidden agenda that's set to destroy the administration. King would know that if he actually read the many articles favourable to Republicans and their president over the years. And he would also realize then that the NYT is far from having a 'left-wing elitist agenda'. It's only his disordered mind that makes it so.
And if Alberto Gonzales goes along with King's request to prosecute the NYT on the basis of treason, to borrow a phrase from Bush: 'Bring 'em on'. Maybe, while he's at it, he'll prosecute the Chicago Sun-Times and Robert Novak for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Don't hold your breath on that one. Novak is, after all, a useful Republican tool.Update
: Bush also damned the press
on Monday for making the bank records monitoring story public but, according to the Counterterrorism blog
, the fact that the US government has been using SWIFT has actually been public knowledge for years - as is noted on the UN's site.h/t The Raw Story