Alex Massie

The Return of Peter King Watch

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If you thought the Wikileaks brouhaha would bring Peter King crawling out of the woodwork then award yourself a prize. America's worst Congressman appeared on MSNBC this morning and called for Wikileaks to be classified a terrorist organisation:

“The benefit of that is, we would be able to seize their assets and we would be able to stop anyone from helping them in any way,”

“Either we’re serious about this or we’re not. I know people may think this is a bit of a stretch, but I analogize it as the RICO statute, where they had a pretty narrow definition of criminal enterprise in the beginning, but now that’s been expanded quite a bit to deal with contemporary problems,” King said.

“If we’re going to live in this world, this technological world, where information can be disseminated so quickly, we have to be serious, take firm strong action against those who are putting American lives at risk, because this will put people’s lives at risk.”

“I don’t think we should write it off that quickly and say we can’t do it. They are assisting in terrorist activity. The information they are giving is being used by al Qaeda, it’s being used by our enemies,”

Needless to say this is nonsense. If Wikileaks is to be added to the list of terrorist organisations (it won't be) then doesn't the New York Times have to be included too?

More to the point, Congressman King knows all about actual terrorist organisations having spent years as a cheerleader for the Irish Republican Army. As recently as 2005 King argued that "we shouldn't rush to be too sanctimonious" about the murder of Robert McCartney since this was just a "pub dispute" that could have happened anywhere. Apparently the cover-up and intimidation of witnesses didn't much matter either. Nor, of course, did the murder of civilians in the UK and Ulster since it was all in a good cause and, anyway, the IRA were the legitimate voice of Irish grievance and all the rest of it.

So, yeah, you can see how Enniskillen and Hyde Park and Birmingham and Manchester and hundreds of other episodes are just the same kind of thing as publishing some diplomatic cables.

But if Wikileaks were to be considered a terrorist organisation would that mean Congressman King would become Julian Assange's biggest fan?

Previous reminders of Peter King's loathsomeness are here.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleInternationalterrorism