Rep.-elect Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, one-upped the calls for the prosecution of Wikileaks by calling for the “censoring” of news agencies that publish the organization’s cables.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., has already called for The New York Times to be investigated, and said in an interview that he didn’t know why Julian Assange hadn’t been charged with treason, though that’s not possible since he is not a U.S. citizen.
Here are West’s full remarks, which, according to ThinkProgress, took place on an Internet radio show:
There are different means by which you can be attacked. I mean it doesnt have to be a bomb or an airplane flying into a building. It doesn’t have to be a shooting. It can be through cyber attacks, it could be through leaking of very sensitive classified information. Regardless of whether you think it causes any harm, the fact that here is an individual that is not an American citizen first and foremost, for whatever reason gotten his hands on classified American material and put it out there in the public domain. And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled him to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts. So that’s kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime. [Emphasis added.]
Censoring news agencies would be a clear violation of the First Amendment — newspapers routinely publish classified information.
Another member of Florida’s Republican Congressional delegation, Rep. Connie Mack, has repeatedly defended the public’s right to know the contents of the WikiLeaks releases, and repudiated calls for prosecution of news outlets.
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.