Perhaps I should change the focus of this blog to “Did we Americans learn anything from the Soviet Union?” since the actions of State and Congressional representatives keep pulling me away from Russia. Today’s outrage is a call by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) for the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute the NY Times with criminal charges for publishing stories about the Bush Administration’s secret financial monitoring program. The LA Times published a similar story. Vice President Dick Cheney blasted the papers on Friday for revealing the program. Apparently Cheney and King believe that the press should do their bidding. Sadly the press did for the first four years of the Bush Administration. Now it’s finally pushing back. Well, at least a little bit. Here is what King said according to Editor and Publisher:
Rep. Peter King blasted the newspaper’s decision last week to report that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.
“I am asking the Attorney General to begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times — the reporters, the editors and the publisher,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. “We’re at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous.”
The conservative lawmaker called the paper “pompous, arrogant, and more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda than it is about the security of the American people.”
Notice the tired rhetoric: we are at “war”, the NY Times as “pompous, arrogant”, and “left-wing elitist agenda”. Look how he positions himself and his support for such a program as in the interests and desires of the “American people.” I guess representatives like King expect us to focus all attention of the boogeyman “left-wing elitist agenda” and not the fact that the American government is spying on Americans under the guise of the eternal War on Terror. Why don’t they just stop with all the whining and nationalize the media already. That is clearly what they want.