UPDATE II: Treasury admits it can't blacklist Julian Assange and Wikileaks (unless they're actual terrorists). Peter King (R-NY) throws hissy fit.
From CBS News:
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) was among the many politicians publicly enraged by WikiLeaks documents dump of U.S. diplomatic cables, likening it to a military act of aggression.
King, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, asked the U.S. Treasury Department to add WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange to its economic blacklist, or sanctions list. Doing so would have given WikiLeaks the same designation as terrorist groups.
On Friday, the Treasury Department said no.
"We do not have evidence at this time as to Julian Assange or Wikileaks meeting criteria under which [Treasury] may designate persons and place them on the" sanctions list, a Treasury representative said in a statement.
By Dr. Pitchfork
In a recent letter to the U.S. Treasury, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has demanded that Tim Geithner place Julian Assange and Wikileaks on the government's list of Specially Designated Nationals, thereby making it illegal for any American citizen or American company to do business with them or to provide them with funding. The list includes international drug dealers, black-market arms dealers, terrorists and the like. Obviously journalists who threaten Bank of America should be included as well.
As far as I can tell, additions to the list are solely at the discretion of the Treasury Secretary.
500.306 - Specially designated national.
(a) The term specially designated national shall mean: (1) Any person who is determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be a specially designated national, (2) Any person who on or since the effective date has acted for or on behalf of the Government or authorities exercising control over any designated foreign country, or (3) Any partnership, association, corporation or other organization which on or since the effective date has been owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the Government or authorities exercising control over any designated foreign country or by any specially designated national.
In addition to being a mere bailout boy for the bankers, Geithner will now have the opportunity to play Big Brother on their behalf by assuming the sole authority to determine whether you would like to support independent journalists like Wikileaks, or whether American internet service providers can provide you access to their websites. Is this outrageous? Absolutely. Surprising? Not in the least.
UPDATE: In addition to playing fast and loose with OUR first amendment rights, Peter King (R-NY) is himself a longtime supporter and fundraiser for international terrorists, namely the IRA:
In the 1980s, King frequently traveled to Northern Ireland to meet with IRA members. In 1982, speaking at a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County, New York, King said: “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.” He called the IRA "the legitimate voice of occupied Ireland." A Northern Irish judge ordered King ejected from the former's courtroom, describing him as “an obvious collaborator with the IRA”. He became involved with NORAID, an organization that the British, Irish and US governments accuse of financing IRA activities and providing them with weapons. He was banned from appearing on British TV for his pro IRA views and refusing to condemn IRA activity in the UK.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)