Friday, October 29, 2010

"Tyranny" (III)

You couldn't ask for a clearer depiction of the dangers of allowing the steady erosion of civil liberties. The right's supreme hack, Jonah Goldberg, provides it:

[Wikileaks founder Julian Assange] told the New Yorker earlier this year that he fully understands innocent people might die as a result of the "collateral damage" of his work and that WikiLeaks may have "blood on our hands." WikiLeaks is easily among the most significant and well-publicized breaches of American national security since the Rosenbergs gave the Soviets the bomb.
So again, I ask: Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?
It's a serious question.

Very American, killing whistleblowers. Also, keep in mind that his crap about Wikileaks endangering lives has been debunked by the Pentagon, of all places. Now, I'll be fair, he manages to write the column in a way that ensures he's not actually advocating for the death of Assange. But then we come to the really telling line:

Even if the CIA wanted to take him out, they couldn't without massive controversy. That's because assassinating a hipster Australian Web guru as opposed to a Muslim terrorist is the kind of controversy no official dares invite.

The casual acceptance that it's okay to kill Muslims but not Westerners is nauseating. But I think Goldberg's flippant attitude toward assassination is even more depressing. There's no objection on the grounds that it would be wrong to assassinate Assange, just that it would cause controversy. That controversy, no doubt, would be ginned up by pinko terrorist sympathizers like Glenn Greenwald, Radley Balko, Will Wilkinson, or Conor Friedersdorf, only one of whom is really a liberal. In Goldberg's ideal world, extrajudicial assassination is cool, as long as he thinks the guy being killed is a bad dude. That's certainly the view of most of National Review's writers.

Christian Whiton is less circumspect:

Here are some of the things the U.S. could do:
2. Explore opportunities for the president to designate WikiLeaks and its officers as enemy combatants, paving the way for non-judicial actions against them.

Yep. Welcome to the conservative love for liberty, ladies and gentlemen!

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