Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) decried The New York Times as a “disgrace” following an editorial calling for clemency for National Security Agency leaker and fugitive Edward Snowden.
A Thursday morning editorial in the Times claims Snowden is a “whistle-blower” who revealed illegal programs. King objected strongly, saying that Snowden deliberately infiltrated the NSA to expose its secrets and arguing the programs are all legal and fully authorized.
“No one has found any violations [by the NSA} ... no phone calls are being listened to, no emails are being read,” he said, adding that close monitoring only applies to a handful of individuals following an “exhaustive” court process.
King, who chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, is one of the strongest defenders of NSA surveillance practices in Congress.
He also said he was in strong agreement with former NSA and CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, who has said that Snowden’s revelations have endangered the U.S., something King said the Times was ignoring for ideological reasons.
“They don’t care about American lives being lost. They have this narrow, liberal, left-wing ideological point of view,” he said.