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Shifting Goalposts on Terrorism

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We've seen so many definitions of terrorist in the last few years, it can be hard to keep them straight. So I suppose it's understandable when someone like Rep. Peter King from New York can't remember what the word means anymore.

Back in the 80s, when King was Nassau County Comptroller and the chairman of the American Committee for a United Ireland, he energetically fought the extradition of former IRA volunteer, Joe Doherty from the US to the UK. He told the New York Times, "The Bush Admininstration has really turned its back on America's tradition of being a sanctuary for political refugees. They've allowed their interests with the British Foreign Office to impede justice."

Flash forward to 2005, when Karl Rove and Scooter Libby outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. King called for “crosshairs” to be set on news media for not being tough enough on Plame's husband Joe Wilson instead. He also suggested that the media "be shot" for pursuing the story.

Terrorism has a new definition now, though, and King is emphatic on who the bad guys are. “I am calling on the attorney general and supporting his efforts to fully prosecute WikiLeaks and its founder for violating the Espionage Act,” he told a New York radio station.

Terrorism: it's blowing things up, except when it's not, and it's leaking sensitive information, depending on who does it, and people should be extradited, except when they're political refugees. Do I have that straight?

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and be our friend on Facebook.