If you’re ready for some puking in the morning, Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald provides an overview of the response of rightwing American media and pundits to the whole WikiLeaks affair.
First we have the group demanding that Julian Assange be murdered without any charges, trial or due process. There was Sarah Palin on on Twitter illiterately accusing WikiLeaks — a stateless group run by an Australian citizen — of “treason”; she thereafter took to her Facebook page to object that Julian Assange was “not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders” (she also lied by stating that he has “blood on his hands”: a claim which even the Pentagon admits is untrue). Townhall’s John Hawkins has a column this morning entitled ”5 Reasons The CIA Should Have Already Killed Julian Assange.” That Assange should be treated as a “traitor” and murdered with no due process has been strongly suggested if not outright urged by the likes of Marc Thiessen, Seth Lipsky (with Jeffrey Goldberg posting Lipsky’s column and also illiterately accusing Assange of “treason”), Jonah Goldberg, Rep. Pete King, and, today, The Wall Street Journal.
That column “5 Reasons The CIA Should Already Have Killed Julian Assange” can be found here.
Unsurprisingly, since we haven’t treated the problem seriously, it has gotten worse. Julian Assange at Wikileaks has released massive amounts of classified data. Some of it is embarrassing. Some of it is very sensitive. Some of it could have political ramifications for our friends around the world, and worst of all, some of it could lead to the deaths of people who’ve risked their lives to help America. That’s the first reason why the CIA should have already killed Julian Assange.
1) Julian Assange aided the Taliban and risked the lives of Afghans who helped American forces.
2) Killing Julian Assange would send a message: Julian Assange is not an American citizen and he has no constitutional rights. So, there’s no reason that the CIA can’t kill him. Moreover, ask yourself a simple question: If Julian Assange is shot in the head tomorrow or if his car is blown up when he turns the key, what message do you think that would send about releasing sensitive American data? Do you think there would be any more classified American information showing up on Wikileaks?
3) You can’t run a government without secrets.
4) Releasing the information to the world is even worse than giving it to a single foreign government.
5) We need to regain the confidence of our allies who’ve been burned by these leaks.
Well, they’re probably going to have their way, as I wouldn’t wage any bets on the lifespan of Julian Assange – who has already announced that Russia and big corporations are next. Either that, or he’ll be arrested by Interpol.
Do that, and you make him a martyr.
- Update: Mark adds another shocking example, showing that this kind of reasoning is not confined to the U.S.
This clip shows Tom Flanagan – the former chief of staff to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Howard of the Conservative Party of Canada and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary – also suggesting that the United States should assassinate Assange on the CBC. Flanagan seems to be advocating a special version of masculinity whereby your toughness is associated with appearing on television advocating that someone else ‘man up’ (as if the suggestion that the rule of law be tossed out the window is not deranged enough).