Reaction to Wikileaks disclosures swift in Congress
Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) reacted strongly Monday to the release of secret diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks to the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and other news outlets.
The information revealed includes private conversations with foreign leaders, candid comments about other foreign leaders, assessments of proliferation threats in Iran; North Korea; and Pakistan, corruption in the Afghan government and arguably most damagingly, an effort — illegal under international law — signed off by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to use American diplomats to spy on the Secretary-General of the U.N. Ban Ki-moon, members of the P5 and Middle Eastern and African delegations.
King, incoming chair of the House Homeland Security committee, called Wikileaks a “clear and present danger to the national security” and asked the State Department to designate Wikileaks as a “foreign terrorist organization” and to work with the Swedish government to apprehend Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange while “recognizing and respecting” Swedish law. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he also said that he would hold congressional hearings on the leaks.
Hoekstra, the outgoing ranking member of the House Intelligence committee, said the leaks were “a massive failure within the intelligence (community) to create this kind of database with this much information in it. I think the real surprise here is that it never happened before.”
The White House condemned the report in the “strongest terms.” The State Department called on Wikileaks to return the documents and destroy them from its servers. Attorney General Eric Holder said that there is an “active, ongoing criminal investigation” into WikiLeaks.
Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, the suspected source of the leaks, remains in solitary confinement in Quantico, Va.
Here is Rep. King on Morning Joe: