Earlier this week, Representative Peter King (R-NY), the ranking minority member on the House’s Committee on Counterterrorism, gave a public lecture at Heritage titled, “Keeping America Free, Safe And Prosperous: Counterterrorism in the Obama Administration“. In his speech, King highlighted our current problems with counterterrorism and the future of homeland security.

Afterwards, he sat down with us for a short interview to discuss some of these issues in greater detail. He stressed the importance of understanding the enemy. As he said, “The enemy is Islamic terrorism. … [The Obama Administration is] afraid to be politically incorrect and they just insist on using any other term they can to avoid using ‘Islamic terrorism.’ If you don’t know who your enemy is, it’s hard to mobilize the American people against that enemy.” He went on to say that we are not as safe as we should be and that we have been hurt for a number of the President’s policies in the counterterrorism arena.

We also discussed the Wikileaks scandal. “The leakers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said forcefully. “This is a disgrace. This is a time of war and I think the media has been too casual about this. To me it’s beyond belief that you would leak secret, classified information during a time of war.” He went on to explain that while much of the information wasn’t new, the larger threat of the disclosure was the possibility that terrorists might be able to glean additional information from the documents. “90,000 documents are going to be analyzed by the enemy and from that they may be able to learn locations,” he explained, “The most deadly consequence of this may be American soldiers being killed as a result.”