GOP Chairman of Homeland Security Says the New York Times Should be Tried for Espionage

In December Rep. Pete King, the new Chairman of the Homeland Security Commission, did pretty much the opposite of what you'd want someone in that position to do: smear US Muslims by pledging to launch an investigation into the alleged "radicalization of the American Muslim community."

Over the weekend the New York Times called him out on it, pointing out that King didn't offer up any evidence of radicalization and should avoid vilifying all US Muslims. Because the US was founded on the principle that elected officials should never face public scrutiny or criticism though, King blustered the following in an interview with the Hill:

I’m absolutely delighted that The New York Times would attack me ... I have nothing but contempt for them. They should be indicted under the Espionage Act. … The New York Times is just basically being a mouthpiece for political correctness.

This is actually the second time in 3 weeks that King has argued the Times should be charged under the Espionage Act. In a Dec. 19th interview on Fox, King said that after the US government "goe[s] after" Julian Assange, they should indict the Times for disclosing: the Swift program, FISA, and even the Pentagon Papers.

The Espionage Act has been batted around a lot lately in connection to WikiLeaks. It's not clear when elected officials and conservative pundits will realize that the law should probably not be used to shut down journalistic outfits that make them mad.

h/t Business Insider.

AlterNet / By Tana Ganeva

Posted at January 5, 2011, 11:57am