Rep. Peter King (R – NY) is publicly fuming tonight after the Treasury Department announced they couldn’t follow through with his demand to place WikiLeaks on the SDN list, insisting that they had absolutely no evidence supporting their addition under any of the existing criteria.
Treasury officials insisted they don’t just get to add whoever they want to the list, which imposes a full embargo on anyone who finds themselves on it, but that they can only amend the list under the terms of executive orders or Congressional legislation.
Which seemed to infuriate Rep. King even further, as he insisted that Treasury officials need to “explain themselves to the American people” and justify exactly why WikiLeaks in general and Julian Assange in particular don’t fit under the “terrorist” criteria.
Several officials have called Julian Assange a “terrorist” over the past few months, but the legal basis for doing so appears murky, at best. The Treasury Department does not appear to have authority to ban people as “terrorists” simply on the basis of a few officials calling someone a terrorist.