June 10th, 2013
08:06 AM ET
10 months ago

King: 'Defector' Snowden is a danger to national security

(CNN) – The ex-CIA employee who admitted Sunday to leaking top secret information about America's surveillance programs is a "defector" who could still pose risks to U.S. assets overseas, Rep. Peter King claimed Monday.

King, a Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee, added on CNN's "Starting Point" that Edward Snowden's claim he could have wiretapped President Barack Obama's own correspondence was a lie.

"No it is not true. And so much he said is untrue," King said. "This guy is dangerous to the country. He had, I think, real questions as to why he left the CIA."

According to the Guardian newspaper, which was the recipient of leaks from Snowden, their source was a computer security specialist at the CIA until 2009, later taking a job at the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. He's currently holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong, the Guardian said, taking steps to avoid being tracked by American authorities.

King said Snowden's current location was a worry, since Chinese officials may find him and demand more information about American security secrets. Hong Kong is part of communist-ruled China, but has a semi-autonomous government and an extradition treaty with the U.S.

MORE: Dem calls for 'reopening' the Patriot Act

"He knows who our intelligence assets are, who our intelligence agents are around the world, and the fact he has allowed our enemy to know what our sources and methods are is extremely dangerous," the New York Republican said. "I think he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I consider him right now to be a defector."

Extradition proceedings should being "as soon as possible," King said, though Justice Department officials say Snowden would first have to be charged before those discussions begin. King admitted the extradition process would be "confusing."

"My concern In the meantime is China could be holding him and getting information as to what he knows about our assets around the world," he said.


Filed under: NSA • Peter King
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. ST

    I get very irritated when I hear those who are trying to defend their privacy. I say to hell with your so called privacy. We are lucky and thank god that nothing like 9/11, 2001 has happened again. Is anyone who can tolerate, god forbid to witness another 9/11, 2001 happening twice or thrice? Watching people jumping from the eleventh floor? helpless people screaming for help which anyone could offer, watching a concrete building melting like snow, watching heavy smoke spreading in the sky? Enough of these nonsense already.

    June 10, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Darryl

    This guy leaking information of National Security ? Someone needs to make him dissappear for good. This guy was set-up and lets see what side of the Political fence he is attached to. If he is a republican, then wee all know why this happened. The truth will come out as it always does.

    June 10, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. ectogestator

    Peter King is right. In the war that the US government is waging on the US citizen, this guy defected from one side to the other.

    King states his own case clearly, "...[Snowden] has allowed our enemy to know our sources and menthods..." When King says, "our enemy", King is referring to his enemy, the US populace.

    June 10, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Wake up People!

    How did a high school dropout get 2 jobs dealing with National Security???
    ------
    Because it's a typical government (e.g. screwed up) operation.

    June 10, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. PaulCat

    Some of you people are full of it. What part are you willing to play in order to help keep America safe? The second something goes wrong, your first question is, why didn't we do more?

    People, you can't have it both ways!
    .....grow-up........

    June 10, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Joan

    This guy looks like Eric Cantor but has the same ideology as Rand Paul. Hope the journalists soon dig into his past, who he supports, who supported him and what makes a guy like this tick. He obviously just didn't think this up on his own. Since the Boston bombing, hopefully the CIA and FBI have been able to track the brother's calls for the last few years. That would be very important. They would ONLY be able to do this under this program that the whistleblower says is so terrible. Huh?

    June 10, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. ectogestator

    ST is right. You don't see these fearful terroist attacks happening in China. To hel with libery, .... I mean privacy. Repeal the 4th amendment. A soldier with a tape recorder lodged in every home.

    June 10, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. wrong long

    I suspect he is in Hong Kong to have access to the Red Chinese and their hackers. He signed an agreement to maintain security and did not. He is a liar. If he wanted to "defend" our rights, he could have done so in an honest way. He can't be trusted and should be extradited so he can face charges.

    June 10, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Rob

    If the government wants to snoop on you, why is it so bad for us to see what they're doing?

    All you fools that think it's okay to spy on citizens apparently need to go back to 6th grade civics and learn about the constitution.

    June 10, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. ectogestator

    I feel like the I'm not being spied on enough. The other day I had a conversation in a restaurant with some people I was dining with, and it was very noisy. I'm concerned that the government was not able to hear everything we were saying. The government must do more to keep me safe from people having conversations in person. My safety is important.

    June 10, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. mjd

    Excuse me! When did we become a totalitarian police state? Snowden is a hero!!! He should be given a medal for what he did! I'm sooo sick of people whining "Oh ANYTHING to be safe!" Benjamin Franklin said it best "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    June 10, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Joan wrote:

    ... ... ... Since the Boston bombing, hopefully the CIA and FBI have been able to track the brother's calls for the last few years. That would be very important. They would ONLY be able to do this under this program that the whistleblower says is so terrible.
    --------------–
    First of all, this guy is no "whistleblower". That's the term the media has been using to defend their own practices, while denying that there are some bad apples in the world of journalism who do break the laws: i.e. Wikileaks.

    I do agree with you, that no doubt this database was used during the recent lockdown and chase in the Boston area. Having to wait for a judge to convene, then a company to cooperate would add hours, if not days, to the process of obtaining information about a fugitive.

    June 10, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "How did a high school dropout get 2 jobs dealing with National Security???
    --
    Because it's a typical government (e.g. screwed up) operation."
    ===

    No. It's because just like in everything, even national security operations require people at all levels to be involved and that includes techs like him...and yes, that means some people who don't have several degrees from top universities or 30 years of military experience are going to have to be given clearance after going thru whatever background checks, etc., that involves. Grow up.

    June 10, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Fair is Fair

    ectogestator

    ST is right. You don't see these fearful terroist attacks happening in China. To hel with libery, .... I mean privacy. Repeal the 4th amendment. A soldier with a tape recorder lodged in every home.
    ------
    Repeal the 4th and you repeal the basis of the majority opinion of Roe v. Wade.

    June 10, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Pete

    They say this Snowden guy was getting 200 gran while employed in Hawaii in 2009 and when he left many there said good riddence..And his bosses now are ex NSA,CIA guys that worked for Bushs,Clinton,Reagan, others ,the lists long and so are their crooked pasts..He'll just stay in Hong Kong until he gets a free pass to China where he'll stay..Just an intelligent misguided computer geek that is also a high school dropout that thinks he can help straighten out the world ...He wants to rid America of its Big Brothers secretive security that wiretaps, easedrops but doesn't realize how complex and drawn out it is..Bush started this security back in 2001 after 9/11 and republicans haven't balked at anything about it till Pres.Obama signed an extentions just recently and like most all of his policies or extentions its met with hatred and contempt from congress and anyone republican the ones who created these messes while Bush was around...Republicans quit saying Bushs gone and blaming Pres.Obama because of Bushs diabolical anti-terrorist policies that republicans keep protecting that still remain in Patriot Act,Homeland security and can you say with a straight face Bush didn't take away any of our liberties,constitutional rights because you and I know Bushs policies certainly did with both!!

    June 10, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. ectogestator

    I can understand why NSA and the intelligence communicty, including Peter King, are so unhappy right now. This guy Snowden was violating their privacy.

    June 10, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "You'll see that the same accusations leveled against the Bush administration being defended by many of the same Republicans who defend the program now."

    Indeed. And then there's a whole bunch of GOPers/Teatrolls trying to pretend that never happened or that this is different and that NOW is suddenly the time to be concerned about it and throw a massive hissy fit and scream "unconstitooshinamal!!!!!"....simply because it's Obama. Reality: GOPers thought they'd have a "permanent majority" and they never intended for a Dem, let alone a black one, the wield these powers...just themselves.

    June 10, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. PopSmith

    Can we please have a government that is for the people? Can we have a governement that is a competent steward? This is embarrassing as a Nation. Who is running the store? The door is left open and we are all left exposed!

    June 10, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Wake up People!

    I remember watching an episode of Good Times as a child. Michael wrote an essay criticizing the government. That same day, the father James lost his job as a dock worker as did JJ as a delivery person. Now I know this is TV but I was always under the impression that we were being watched in some fashion. Then 9/11 happened. It was planned right under our noses. The terrorists got their training in the US. I pray to God, none of us ever have to live through something like that again and if the government monitoring us prevents this, I'm all for it.

    I think safety of the American people trumps privacy all day.

    @ST. I completely agree with you.

    June 10, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. RINO Bil

    Too bad King did not feel this way when Bob Novak leaked Valerie Plame's name. Did King pursue or go after any Republicans responsible for that little bit of treason? Did he at least denounce that leak?

    I wonder why not.

    Oh yeah, I forgot, he is a partisan, blowhard, bigot. I am certain he will find some way to ID Snowden as a Muslim too.

    June 10, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Rob wrote:

    If the government wants to snoop on you, why is it so bad for us to see what they're doing?

    All you fools that think it's okay to spy on citizens apparently need to go back to 6th grade civics and learn about the constitution.
    --------------
    Does this mean that you have a problem with traffic cameras, many of which have technology that can read your car's license plate? What about the database that tracks your E-Z-Pass usage, supposedly so that they can bill you properly?

    Did you know that banks have been reporting all of your bank transactions in excess of $10,000 to the federal government since the 1930s?

    June 10, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. mrlucky11

    This man is the hero that will change the face of the US government. Let the Revolution begin!

    BTW – What are the Vegas odds that the IRS audits him next year?

    June 10, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. dmw

    I could care less what degrees someone had – it's called the intelligence community – and that's what I'm concerned with – and clearly it's something those that don't understand the problems with this illegal and unwarranted program lack.

    June 10, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. HenryMiller

    No, Gestapo advocate Peter King is a danger to American freedom.

    June 10, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Americandirt

    Rep. Peter King a Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee. Is a Danger to the Freedom, Truth, Principles’ and Forefathers of all "TRUE" American Citizens.

    June 10, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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