King Introduces Bill to Strengthen DOJ Authority to Prosecute Leaks of Intelligence
Will make it illegal to publish protected names of U.S. intelligence sources who collaborate with U.S military or intelligence community
Washington, D.C. (Thursday, December 9, 2010) – U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Ranking Member and Chairman-elect of the Committee on Homeland Security, introduced legislation that will give the Department of Justice additional tools to prosecute future disclosures by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or others.
H.R. 6506, known as “The SHIELD Act,” will make it illegal to publish the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the U.S military or intelligence community.
King has previously called on Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act. This legislation expands the Attorney General’s authority to prosecute leaks of intelligence.
King said: “Julian Assange and his associates who operate and support WikiLeaks have not only damaged U.S. national security with their releases of classified documents, but also placed at risk countless lives, including those of our Nation’s intelligence sources around the world. WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States, and Julian Assange, an enemy of the U.S, should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. This legislation will give the Attorney General additional tools to do just that.”
The legislation is a House companion to a bill introduced in the Senate on Dec. 2 by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).