New York Republican Rep. Peter King lashed out at President Obama following the president’s announcement on Friday that he would work to reform the federal government’s counter-terrorism surveillance programs.
King, who is positioning himself for a possible presidential run in 2016, called the announcement a “monumental failure in presidential wartime leadership and responsibility.”
The congressman is a staunch defender of the National Security Agency’s programs.
“These programs are legal, transparent and contain the appropriate checks and balances among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government. These intelligence tools keep Americans safe every single day,” said King.
King is the chairman of House Homeland Security Committee’s Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
“America is at war with Islamist terror groups that kill and maim innocent civilians,” he said, stating that the “current threat to the Homeland is just as high as it was before 9/11.”
According to a chart displayed by California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein during a senate hearing on August 31, the NSA considers Canada, Mexico, Greenland, and parts of Central America to be part of the American “Homeland.”
“It is difficult to imagine past war leaders such as Franklin Roosevelt or Winston Churchill willingly surrendering signals intelligence tools that are needed to fight our enemies,” said King.
“We need a president who defends our intelligence programs, explains them appropriately to the American people, and uses every legal capability in his arsenal to defeat al Qaeda.”
This article has been updated.