Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano weighed in on the NSA intelligence leaks on Friday, telling NY1 that fears over government surveillance were overblown.
“I think people have gotten the idea that there’s an Orwellian state out there that somehow we’re operating in. That’s far from the case,” she told Errol Louis during an appearance on Road to City Hall.
Mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn refused to criticize President Obama over reports that the federal government has engaged in widespread monitoring of Americans’ Internet activity and telephone calls–arguing that surveillance is crucial to the city’s safety.
As President Barack Obama’s opponents pile on in the aftermath of multiple recent controversies–notably his reaction to the Benghazi attacks, revelations that the Internal Revenue Service focused on conservative-aligned nonprofits and the Justice Department’s unprecedented snooping on press communications–one local congressman wants it to be known that he is also not pleased.
To wit, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, released a lengthy statement this afternoon blasting Mr. Obama for “bringing Chicago-style politics to the White House.” This style of underhanded rule, Mr. Grimm said, has resulted in a presidency that is “the most secretive, deceptive, and divisive we’ve seen in modern times.”
Earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg repeatedly refused to comment on accusations that his media organization, Bloomberg News, improperly accessed information about subscribers of the firm’s financial data service.
“No, I can’t say anything. I have an agreement with the Conflicts of Interest Board. You’ll have to talk to the company,” Mr. Bloomberg replied when first asked about the controversy at a press conference in Brooklyn, insisting that city rules prohibit him from weighing in.
Congressman Pete King, the head of the House’s Homeland Security Committee, has been generating some media buzz recently with his forceful rejection of a Democratic amendment which would restricting federal funding from police forces declared to be discriminatory by the Attorney General. While the amendment wouldn’t directly impact the NYPD, the subtext of the legislation was clearly intended to send a message regarding the Muslim-surveillance controversy unearthed by The Associated Press earlier this year. And on a recent CNN discussion, Mr. King pushed back hard when The New Yorker‘s Ryan Liza tried to give credit to The AP’s report.
“First off, there is no profiling, that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating,” Mr. King stated flatly when the topic was broached.
“I’m not propagating anything I’m just telling you that there’s been some very legitimate questions raised about what the NYPD is doing!” Mr. Lizza shouted back.
“We’re sort of under attack,” Mr. Kelly said, arguing the AP fostered a narrative that his department has done something illegal. “The AP has done over 30 stories. It’s pretty tough to go up against a wire service that has a certain template that it’s sticking to.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t see eye to eye with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on how much information New Jersey is getting from the New York City Police Department.
Yesterday, Governor Christie indicated his state was receiving very little information. “9/11 was not prevented because law enforcement agencies weren’t talking to each other, they were being selfish, they were being provincial, they were being paranoid, they were being arrogant,” he warned. “I do not want to return to those days.”