>It appears Florida Rep.-elect Allen West has already shot himself in the foot before he’s even been sworn into office. West apparently said in an interview on a conservative radio station he believes American news outlets that “enabled” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be censored.
Here’s an excerpt of what he said:
WEST: There are different means by which you can be attacked. I mean it doesn’t have to be a bomb or an airplane flying into a building. It doesn’t have to be a shooting. It can be through cyber attacks, it could be through leaking of very sensitive classified information. Regardless of whether you think it causes any harm, the fact that here is an individual that is not an American citizen first and foremost, for whatever reason gotten his hands on classified American material and put it out there in the public domain. And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled him to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts. So that’s kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime.
Along with West, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman suggested The New York Times and other news organizations publishing Wikileaks cables could be investigated for breaking American espionage laws.
Joe Lieberman, the chair of the Senate homeland security committee, told Fox News: “To me the New York Times has committed at least an act of, at best, bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime is a matter of discussion for the justice department.” Lieberman also said that the department of justice should indict Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, under the 1917 Espionage Act and try to extradite him from the UK. Asked why this had not happened, Lieberman admitted there was probably an argument going on over how to charge Assange.”I think this is the most serious violation of the Espionage Act in our history,” Lieberman said, adding: “It sure looks to me that Assange and WikiLeaks have violated the Espionage Act.”
Along with Assange, California Senator Dianne Feinstein also criticized the news media in an op-ed she penned for The Wall Street Journal.
As for the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has held that its protections of free speech and freedom of the press are not a green light to abandon the protection of our vital national interests. Just as the First Amendment is not a license to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, it is also not a license to jeopardize national security.
Even the U.S. Air Force has blocked websites that have published Wikileaks cables. Employees are blocked from seeing at least 25 sites from their computers.
It’s nonetheless telling that these folks are more than willing to violate the Constitution when it fits their agenda. It’s also amazing the Bush-era’s reliance on restricting Constitutional rights in the name of national security is still embedded into these politicians cobwebbed-coated brains.