- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, said Wednesday that groups like the National Security Administration were so worried about defending against outside threats, that the lacking internal security allowed Edward Snowden to leak millions of pages of documents.

“They were so concerned about being penetrated from the outside, they were oblivious to what was happening internally,” he said on MSNBC. “Looking back at it now, there’s no reason at all why this was allowed to happen. It never should have.”

He said measures have been put in place to prevent anything similar from happening again.

The NSA wiretapping program that Mr. Snowden leaked has gotten the most publicity, but Mr. King said the scope of information available to enemies goes far beyond that.

“I think it was bad enough that he did that. I think that has really hurt the country,” he said. “But in addition to that, the vast amounts of other information, classified, top-secret information involving our military that’s been leaked, it’s disgraceful.”

Mr. King, who went so far as to call Mr. Snowden’s actions “treasonous,” said he’s incredulous that members of his party can wonder if Mr. Snowden did a service to Americans by making secret information available to Russians and possibly the Chinese.

“As Republicans, do we really want some one in our party saying they don’t know if he’s a patriot or not?” he said. “He’s a traitor. … Whatever you want to call him, he’s an accomplice, he’s not heroic, and I think he’s an absolute disgrace.”

• Jacqueline Klimas can be reached at jklimas@washingtontimes.com.

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