By Gautham Nagesh - 12/07/10 06:52 PM EST
Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) on Monday accused the federal government of intimidating citizens connected to WikiLeaks and said officials are trying to distract the public from the contents of the classified documents published by the site.
Last week, Mack said Americans have a right to know the contents of the leaks, regardless of how the materials were obtained. He doubled down on that view Monday during an appearance on Fox Business, accusing the federal government of vilifying WikiLeaks in order to escape scrutiny of its military and foreign policy.
“The people are not really understanding what’s happening here. The fear should be: What will our federal government do to try to punish American citizens and corporations if those citizens or corporations do something that the government doesn’t like? It doesn’t make sense," Mack said on "Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano."
“The idea that we’re focusing on WikiLeaks and not focusing on what the federal government is trying to do, it’s a head fake,” Mack added, comparing the leaks to the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phones under the Patriot Act.
Mack's views are strongly at odds with his fellow Republicans, some of whom have called for WikiLeaks to be labeled a terrorist organization. A group of senators unveiled a bill last week aimed at stopping the site by making it a crime to disclose the name of classified military or intelligence sources of information.
Watch the interview here.