King:  Blame the Pentagon
November 30th, 2010
07:38 PM ET
12 years ago

King: Blame the Pentagon

(WASHINGTON) CNN - New York Republican Rep. Peter King is blasting the Pentagon for the release of confidential State Department documents by the controversial whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

During an interview with CNN Lead Political Anchor Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room Tuesday, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee blamed the Defense Department for failing to secure documents that were allegedly leaked at the hands of an army private.

King asserted that the Pentagon should have had more precautions and a "failsafe" procedure to prevent the release of sensitive information, and stated that he was not convinced enough was done.

When asked who was to blame for the leaks, King responded, "the Defense Department holds ultimate responsibility."

King added that the potential cost of Wikileaks' access to State Department is high.

"I have no doubt someone can or will die as a result of these leaks." King said.

He called the leak an "invitation to murder."

When pressed on whether he'd learned of any such casualties, King, revealed that he will receive his first briefing on the breach tomorrow.

King also said that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, should be prosecuted for espionage and that Wikileaks should be classified as a terrorist group so that "we can freeze their assets."

Calling Assange an enemy combatant, King declared his dissatisfaction at the administration's response, and stated that Attorney General Eric Holder showed "no intensity" in his reaction to the leak.

Since this weekend, Wikileaks has published hundreds of classified U. S. diplomatic messages, the first of what the organization says is a quarter million similar documents.

In addition to being published on Wikileaks website, the documents were acquired in advance by five major newspapers in Europe and the U. S. (The New York Times, The Guardian of the UK, El Pais of Spain, Le Monde of France, and Der Spiegel of Germany.) CNN declined a last minute offer to discuss advance access to some of the documents because of a confidentiality agreement requested by Wikileaks that CNN considered unacceptable.

CNN is committed to carefully and responsibly reporting on the documents already published by Wikileaks and the five newspapers, focusing not only on what the leaked documents say, but also what their publication means for global relations and U. S. diplomacy.

Filed under: Peter King • WikiLeaks
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. CBR

    Peter King is angry – and that is news. He is making allegations and assumptions without meeting to find out just what did happen. He just is not believable.

    November 30, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. thomas

    Is this baboon running for president ? We live in the era of no secrets , cyber TRUTH !

    November 30, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Chipster

    Whoever provided these documents to Assange should be charged with treason. This is as bad as Cheney and Rove exposing a covert CIA agent for nothing but childish political payback, for which they were never held accountable.. The nonsense about the State Department collecting information about diplomats is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Any business person knows that you gather informaiton about business leaders that are potential customers, partners or competitors. Diplomats visit the USA and you can bet that their staff collects information about our leaders ahead of any State business visit. It's just good business practice to be prepared. This is NOT the most damaging or dangerous information to come out of thess treasonous leaks. If it is, we will be incredibly fortunate.

    November 30, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. usualone

    This is not a time for politics. It is a time to investigate how the leaks came about, how to prevent it from happening again, and prosecuting Wikileaks participants.

    November 30, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. they call me "tater salad"

    Hey folks!!! It's time for America's favorite game show....................."Blame Game"

    November 30, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. jenn, philadelphia

    A lot of the blame can be linked to the rush to implement the 9/11 commission report before studying it. President Bush wanted to study the report, the Democrat-majority Congress (with pressure from the 9/11 victims' relatives) pushed through the changes with a "how dare he not follow the commission's report" attitude. Now we have the TSA, with it's idiotic passenger searches of kids and grandmoms and over 600,000 people with access to all documents because of the "improved" information sharing. Sometimes government moving slower is a good idea.

    November 30, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |