Rep. Peter King Says Reporters Should Be Prosecuted For Reporting On Government Leaks

from the that-whole-first-amendment-thing-sure-is-a-bitch dept

Rep. Peter King, apparently, is not a fan of the US Constitution that he's been sworn to uphold. In the past, he wanted Wikileaks put on the official terrorist list, argued that the Boston bombing meant we needed less freedom and more surveillance, and now has announced that reporters should be prosecuted if they report on leaked classified material. Apparently the whole concept of the First Amendment and whistleblowing is foreign to Rep. King, despite the fact that they're some of the fundamental parts of what America is based on.
"If they willingly knew that this was classified information, I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude," King said.

"I think on something of this magnitude, there is an obligation both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something that would so severely compromise national security."
Of course, as the article correctly points out, publishing classified information is not a crime, and trying to criminalize it would almost certainly go against the First Amendment. Of course, as we've noted in the past, Peter King is against terrorism, unless the terrorists are Irish. Then he's all for it. Apparently, overreactions, complete misunderstanding of the law and hypocrisy all go hand in hand.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    This just in...

    Water is wet...

    Politicians are idiots...

    Film at 11!

     

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  2.  
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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re: This just in...

    Film? 11?

    You sound like a politician, being out of touch like this.

    /joke

    I do agree, this King is an idiot.

     

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  3.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:17am

    Yup...

    Sounds like treason to me....

     

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  4.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    It really is amazing the lengths to which politicians will go just because they are scared of informed masses.

     

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  5.  
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    MondoGordo (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    This guy ...

    Should be publicly stoned (with real stones) !!
    At the very least he needs to be removed from office ... wth is his constituency thinking allowing him to stay in DC when he's clearly not a supporter of American ideals ?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:26am

    Re: Yup...

    I was thinking along the same lines.

    Some think of people like Edward Snowden as traitors, but as far as I'm concerned those who ought to be treated like traitors are the ones who conspire to or otherwise knowingly violate the people's constitutional rights. People like Peter King are more appropriately called traitors than Snowden and the various reporters involved in recent leaks.

    The Obama Administration is full of traitors, and so is Congress.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    "I think on something of this magnitude, there is an obligation both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something that would so severely compromise national security."

    Yeah? Well *I* think on something of this magnitude, there is an obligation both moral but also legal, I believe, against the government COVERING UP something that would so severely compromise national liberties.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    National Security

    Says Peter King:
    "I think on something of this magnitude, there is an obligation both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something that would so severely compromise national security."


    Contrast with security expert Bruce Schneier's recent comments:
    "Reading the documents leaked so far, I don't see anything that needs to be kept secret. The argument that exposing these documents helps the terrorists doesn't even pass the laugh test; there's nothing here that changes anything any potential terrorist would do or not do."


    I think I'll take the security expert's opinion over that of some jackass congressman.

     

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  9.  
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    apauld (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: This just in...

    "I do agree, this King is an idiot."

    I do as well, but would also add in the majority of voters in the congressional district that keeps re-electing him. I'd love to know if some or all of the shut ins/trolls on the site live on that part of Long Island.

     

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  10.  
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    howtogetridoffleasez (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Orwell is spinning in his grave.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    FTFY

    [Congress] should be prosecuted for [not] reporting on Government [crimes]

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    King

    Mr King, your name does not make you an absolute monarch.

     

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  13.  
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    Colin, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    Re: National Security

    That's what I came to post. I like how it flips between "how dare you!" and "eh, no big deal" as it suits them.

     

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  14.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    Orwell combusted into flames from spinning so much decades ago.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    Woudn't Orwell be nodding then shaking his head in the grave in the fashion of "told you so, you stupid monkeys".

    Though it iss entirely possible he really wanted his work to give a chance for humanity to see and correct itself rather than become the operations manual for our modern tyrants that it is.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    So what amendment will be next to go Peter King?

    So, what amendments will Peter King demand we ignore in the name of national security?

    We've already pretty much suspended the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments on the rights of the accused and criminals. Now King wants to start taking away our 1st amendment rights to.

    And don't forget, King and others also insist that the constitution only protects US citizens, and we can do whatever human rights abuses we want in the name of fighting terrorism to foreigners (such as what cruel things are done at Guantanamo, and indefinite detention for even people cleared for release over 3 years ago).

    So what amendment is next, the 2nd amendment to take away all the guns outside of government hands?

    Or maybe the 3rd amendment so that the army can seize your nice house in the name of national security in order to lodge some troops, and leave you to sleep on the sidewalk, just like the British troops used to do. After all, we do need to cut back on spending somewhere, just not on national security!

    Or maybe the 9th and 10th amendments, they're too vague, and also talk about limiting federal government power and giving it to the state, as well as giving vague rights to US citizens that could possibly help terrorists.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Rep. King should remember his Oath of Office

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. "

    Did you forget this, Rep. King? How pathetic.

     

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  18.  
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    David Wong-Faull (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    It is a very odd sort of patriot who would destroy the First (and Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth) Amendment to protect America.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    i was just about to call him the same as that particular part of the female anatomy found at the junction of both legs, but then i remembered that that part is extremely useful, unlike, by the sounds of things, this person is

     

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  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: This just in...

    @ "apauld": "I'd love to know if some or all of the shut ins/trolls on the site live on that part of Long Island." -- WHY? SO YOU CAN USE THAT TO HARASS ENEMIES? That's EXACTLY same attitude as Peter King has. EXACTLY. It's not enough for you to state your opinions here and let others do the same, letting readers decide, NO, you want to SHUT UP DISSENT, and gaining their location and identity is a step toward that.

    Now, at least don't say that isn't the obvious conclusion to be drawn from your post. But just go ahead and try to provide some other reason you'd want to know where people are, because I WANT YOU to keep making your true positions known. ... Such nasty little hypocrites on this site. You should admire the stamina of those whom you disparage as "shut ins/trolls" -- I'm probably included -- because you're just plain ICKY.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This just in...

    Wow, that's a stunning level of paranoia right there.

    Since you missed apauld's meaning, I'll spell it out in less cryptic terms: he was calling the trolls here idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    Re: This guy ...

    (with real stones)


    Oh, sure, take away the opportunity for a good pot joke.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: This just in...

    Don't be so hard on the folks down there, maybe they just don't have a choice.

    If that dude is the best the state has imagine how the others are.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Christ, what an asshole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    JackOfShadows (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    Protect and defend...

    Nine days after my seventeenth birthday I swore an oath to "Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America Against All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, and to Obey All Lawful Orders of those Officers Appointed Above Me." Yep, the caps were in there too, I might even have missed a couple. I knew what every word meant and the meaning of the whole; my family has always been military, both lines.

    Excepting the Lawful Orders part and adding Uphold to Protect and Defend, politicians all take that same oath. And it seems they've been steadily getting worse as the Republic has aged. Lately, a lot worse, and I'm talking generations, not just Obama, Bush (I or II), Clinton, whomever all the way back to Lincoln actually if not earlier. Now is not the time for a history lesson.

    Well, there should be one lesson. The First Amendment stands, period. On that the Supreme Court has always been on point. If Mr. Hill is saying these things, he's in violation of his oath, grandstanding or no. Should he and others follow through, they should be held accountable and Mr. King needs to be reminded that the penalty for Treason is the only penalty to be found in the entire Constitution. Good luck on Amending that!

    Don't even get me started on Foreign and Domestic.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    The Forbes article on this is well-written and suitably scathing.

    King is an embarrassment to the entire foundation of the country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    JackOfShadows (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    Protect and defend...

    Nine days after my seventeenth birthday I swore an oath to "Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America Against All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, and to Obey All Lawful Orders of those Officers Appointed Above Me." Yep, the caps were in there too, I might even have missed a couple. I knew what every word meant and the meaning of the whole; my family has always been military, both lines.

    Excepting the Lawful Orders part and adding Uphold to Protect and Defend, politicians all take that same oath. And it seems they've been steadily getting worse as the Republic has aged. Lately, a lot worse, and I'm talking generations, not just Obama, Bush (I or II), Clinton, whomever all the way back to Lincoln actually if not earlier. Now is not the time for a history lesson.

    Well, there should be one lesson. The First Amendment stands, period. On that the Supreme Court has always been on point. If Mr. Hill is saying these things, he's in violation of his oath, grandstanding or no. Should he and others follow through, they should be held accountable and Mr. King needs to be reminded that the penalty for Treason is the only penalty to be found in the entire Constitution. Good luck on Amending that!

    Don't even get me started on Foreign and Domestic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    TaCktiX, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Yup...

    The really disheartening part is that this is not new. Treason (or more properly, violating portions of the Constitution "for security reasons") has been generally accepted in the government since the Cold War kicked off.

     

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  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:33am

    Milkin' it and Gettin' those clicks!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moiUAO3CKbM

     

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  30.  
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    MondoGordo (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: This guy ...

    sorry ... my bad.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    It should be obvious why Snowden chose he Guardian to leak to. Since the Guadian is a British newspaper, it cannot be prosecuted, as a newspaper in Britain is not subject to US laws.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    There are more "Traitors to America" in elected positions throughout the country.. far more than are "on the lam".

     

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  33.  
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    steell (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    1984

    Interesting that Amazon just reported that sales of George Orwell's 1984 have increased 9400%

    Maybe this time the American public will take notice and react. I'm not optimistic about it though.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    "Gonzales is apparently referring to provisions of the Espionage Act of 1917. Under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e), it is a crime to "willfully communicate" any "information relating to the national defense which . . . the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation . . . to any person not entitled to receive it." Moreover, when two or more persons cooperate to violate section 793(e), that constitutes conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 793(g). Additionally, under 18 U.S.C. § 798(a)(3), "whoever knowingly and willfully . . . publishes . . . any classified information . . . concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government" is subject to up to ten years of imprisonment."

     

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  35.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Orwell is spinning in his grave.



    http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2429

     

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  36.  
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    Bengie, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Quite Simple

    Rep. Peter King is a traitor.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    FM HIlton, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Re:So what amendment will be next to go Peter King?

    If he had his way, the entire Constitution would be thrown out, along with the Bill of Rights (yes, I do know they're together, but separate)-and let's not forget the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta...any other important documents which propose human freedom from tyranny I missed?

    Oath of office? You have to be kidding me. He read that on the back of his cereal box.

     

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  38.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Yup...

    I'm surprised nobody has yet brought up Mr. King's lecturing everyone on the need for national security intrusions on our privacy, and questioning exactly how that jives with his previous direct support for at least one terrorist organization and indirect support for a second.

    This man is an absolute religiously motivated SNAKE....

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This just in...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    apauld (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This just in...

    True, I certainly have no love for the rep my district keeps voting for; but as John F posted above I was actually just trying to call the trolls idiots, just to see if any of them would take the bait. I know maybe I'm terrible for doing that; but OOTB's response was great.

     

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  41.  
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    apauld (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Yup...

    "This man is an absolute religiously motivated SNAKE...."

    That just put the craziest thought in my head...

    So one day, in the future, Peter King decides to run for President. While campaigning he ends up spending an afternoon at one of those snake handling pentecostal churches in Appalachia. The congregation is very displeased, as Rep. King keeps biting their snakes!

     

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  42.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yup...

    Impossible. First, King is too old to run for President. Second, you can't get elected after directly supporting the IRA and indirectly supporting FARQ. Even this country isn't THAT fucking stupid....

     

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  43.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 1:06pm

    Re: So what amendment will be next to go Peter King?

    I like to argue that income taxes are a violation of our 3rd Amendment rights. The 3rd Amendment guarantees the government will not force us to house soldiers in peace time. Taxes we are forced to pay go toward housing soldiers during peace times.

     

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  44.  
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    Bengie, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: So what amendment will be next to go Peter King?

    Housing as "in YOUR house". You just have a different definition for the word "housing" in that context than the people who wrote it.

    It doesn't matter what you think the definition is, it matters who wrote its definition was.

     

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  45.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Yup...

    Treason (or more properly, violating portions of the Constitution "for security reasons") has been generally accepted in the government since the Cold War kicked off.

    Unfortunately it goes back much farther than the Cold War.

    The Japanese internment camps during WW2 is a particular glaring example.
    Quite a bit of nasty stuff during the Civil War.
    The ink was hardly dry on the Constitution and Bill of Rights when the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by Congress in 1798, and were used to jail and fine the authors and journalists of the time for disagreeing and embarrassing with those in political power (sound familiar yet?).

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    What a douche bag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    CivilLibertarian (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    King Baffoon

    Peter King is the definition of an ass clown.
    ass clown (ás kloun) n.: one, who, through the fault of his parents conception, is a skid mark in society's collective underwear.

    This embarrassment to Long Island needs to go away. So glad I live at the other end, far away from him.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    Sigh, This asshole needs to fuck off already...

    "derp fuk yo rites newz peeple becuz im da king babie"

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This just in...

    Wow, looks like a major nerve was hit. Wonder why?

    I remember out_of_the_blue once advocating something about "if you're talking about it and you're against it you must be guilty". Maybe he IS from Long Island!

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    Peter King is missing just one detail. The reporter is living in England, as a lawful permanent resident, working for a British newspaper, and paying British taxes.

    As a British newspaper, the Guardian is ONLY subject to BRITISH laws, as is the reporter. The Guardian is a newspaper that is headquarted in London, England. That means that the Guardian, and its reporters, are NOT SUBJECT to American laws. So Peter King is barking up the wrong tree on this one. American laws do not apply to a newspaper in Britain, nor to its reporters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:43pm

    Re:

    Peter King is missing just one detail. The reporter is living in England, as a lawful permanent resident, working for a British newspaper, and paying British taxes.

    He's a US citizen living in Brazil, actually. So, not sure your comment applies. He does work for a UK paper, though, so you got that point right.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yup...

    I wouldn't take that bet...

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Jun 13th, 2013 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This just in...

    I see you've discovered the rabid conspiracy theorist Cathy, who lives on Google and complains about it all day long. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so pathetic.

    It's as if she wants to be "disappeared."

    Not gonna happen. Nobody's interested and fewer of us care, even in the "spook" community.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    shit for brains, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 4:50am

    Re: This just in...

    peter king is a low grade imbecil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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