Top GOP congressman says WikiLeaks should be named terrorist organization

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who is scheduled to become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Monday that WikiLeaks should be designated a terrorist organization for releasing hundreds of thousands of secret and classified government documents.

“The benefit of that is, we would be able to seize their assets and we would be able to stop anyone from helping them in any way,” King said, appearing on MSNBC.

King also hinted at getting WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, extradited for prosecution in the U.S. Naming WikiLeaks a terrorist group would help the U.S. government, he said, “as far as trying to get them extradited, trying to get them to take action against them.”

“Either we’re serious about this or we’re not. I know people may think this is a bit of a stretch, but I analogize it as the RICO statute, where they had a pretty narrow definition of criminal enterprise in the beginning, but now that’s been expanded quite a bit to deal with contemporary problems,” King said.

“If we’re going to live in this world, this technological world, where information can be disseminated so quickly, we have to be serious, take firm strong action against those who are putting American lives at risk, because this will put people’s lives at risk.”

Joe Scarborough, the co-host of “Morning Joe” and a former Republican congressman from Florida, was dubious.

“I think you may be overstepping a good deal,” he said. “Isn’t your first job to call government agencies … in front of your committee and say, ‘How did this happen?’ … You know you can’t designate them a terror outfit?”

King persisted.

“I don’t think we should write it off that quickly and say we can’t do it. They are assisting in terrorist activity. The information they are giving is being used by al Qaeda, it’s being used by our enemies,” he said, adding that foreign intelligence agencies will be able to identify sources for intelligence from the more than 251,000 cables being released by WikiLeaks in batches.

King wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday urging him to charge Assange under the Espionage Act and a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her to designated WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization.

Holder said Monday that there is an “active, ongoing criminal investigation” into the WikiLeaks release.

“We are not in a position as yet to announce the result of that investigation, but the investigation is ongoing,” Holder said.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that “WikiLeaks and people that disseminate information to people like this are criminals, first and foremost, and I think that needs to be clear.”

King’s rhetoric is the latest example of outrage – most of it from conservatives – against the international nonprofit that earlier this year released hundreds of thousands of classified government and military documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The documents appear to have come from one source: U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, who was arrested in May and is currently being held at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, and faces a long prison sentence.

Later in the day Monday, former Clinton era Secretary of Defense William Cohen said he supported Holder’s criminal investigation and said the U.S. government should seek to have WikiLeaks’ leaders extradited “to bring them back to face a trial here.”

On Sunday, as the first diplomatic cables began to dribble out, Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia who has since left the organization, sent a public message to WikiLeaks on Twitter.

“Speaking as Wikipedia’s co-founder, I consider you enemies of the U.S. — not just the government, but the people,” Sanger wrote.

He added: “What you’ve been doing to us is breathtakingly irresponsible and can’t be excused with pieties of free speech and openness.”

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called the release by WikiLeaks “treasonous.”

Assange, who is Australian, is facing possible prosecution in his country of origin if he returns there. The government in Canberra is exploring the possibility of filing charges against Assange.

In October, conservative columnist asked in a column: “Why isn’t Julian Assange dead?”

WikiLeaks gave an explanation for its actions in publishing the diplomatic cables Sunday that showed what appeared to be a strong anti-U.S. motivation.

“The cables show the extent of U.S. spying on its allies and the U.N.; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in ‘client states'; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for U.S. corporations; and the measures U.S. diplomats take to advance those who have access to them,” WikiLeaks wrote.

This document release reveals the contradictions between the U.S.’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors — and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington — the country’s first president — could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today’s document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the U.S. government has been warning governments — even the most corrupt — around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures.

In its mission statement, however, WikiLeaks says its “primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.”

“But we also expect to be of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations,” WikiLeaks says. “We aim for maximum political impact.”

This article has been updated throughout the day.

E-mail Jon Ward and follow him on Twitter

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    Here, in mainland USA, inside our very american soil there are internal liasson factions (aids, fifth colunists, enemies of the people,enemies of the state…TRAITORS by definition)



    This factor (THE WIKILEAKS EVENT) is very convenient for the current admisnistration – a pack of saboteours.

    The wikileaks factor could be something like,…uhh!!….PHASE THREE…just walk with me;

    There is a SABOTAGE AGENDA AGAINST OUR NATION….A MASTER PLAN TO PUT DOWN THIS NATION FIRST, for this is the stronger country that can give the good fight to prevent the massive globalist agenda…a nefarious and insidious very well plot plan for – ‘NEW WORLD ORDER STRUCTURE’.


    Attack on the economic structure…several steps and ‘projects’ for internal destabilization of the american free-enterprise capitalist system – and everyone knows what they did(and still trying to do), right?


    Weakening national security…unsecured borders, ignoring the reality of war against terrorism fueled in great scale by Islamic-muslim erratical jihaddist ideology…in addition to give american constitutionals rights to the enemy as well as omission of military procedures of interrogation practices and others correlated factors.


    Purposely and premeditated ingoring the ventilation of sensitive documents that further jeopardize national safety in so many levels (THE WIKILEAKS EVENTS)

    Reason?….simple Obama , Holder the entire Chicago mafia-style group is not interested in the security of this country , rather are working strongly for the destruction of this nation and anything and everything that could help to get the job done on that vector is well accepted by them.

    Bottom line, the current CHICAGO MAFIA-STYLE SUPRA-CORRUPTED POLITICAL MACHINERY NOW IN WASHIGTON (THE OBAMA GANG, AND ASSOCIATES ) are by definition on ideology and vectors of actions, enemies of the people, enemy of the state…by definition they are in TREASON!

    There, short and simple. Take it or leave it.

    Input anyone?

    Opinions welcome.

    Daniel Cabrera

  • ssugasl231

    Why Wikileaks release is (mostly) a good thing for the world.

    Why? Because the release shows the reality of what foreign policy in the world is like, and also vindicates the view that…


  • kbull

    Let the information shine!

  • Oldetrip
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  • jeffincos

    PFC Manning should meet the pointy end of a firing squad for the crimes he “allegedly” committed.

    • BJC49

      I did not know that the Private Manning was a homosexual. Did anyone else? He was wanting to transgender into a female. He was angry about the DADT policy. He was also connected to George Soro’s. Surprise, surpirse!!

      • jonavark

        He will transgender into a female in no time in jail.

      • pepito

        I didn’t know either but he sure looks like a flamer in uniform.

  • amabOssAyMssiK

    Call Darryl Issa’s Office and DEMAND hearings and subpoenas for Julian Asange and Pvt. Manning!

    Washington DC Office: 202-225-3906
    California District Office: 760-599-5000

    Julian Asange MUST testify!

    This is a criminal conspiracy that likely goes all the way up the government food chain and links directly to George Soros!