Friday, December 3, 2010

A Nation of Laws: Not

So, are we a nation of laws, or are we not? In an article in The New Yorker, author, Amy Davidson, in addressing the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s assault on government secrecy, discusses Joe Lieberman’s assertion that he can call to cut off Assange’s Internet connections, and expect to be obeyed. But, then she goes on to comment on other forms of coercion being argued by our Conservative brethren. It would appear, if the horde of neo-con thugs, aka Republicans, are to be believed, we have moved beyond that rather quaint notion of laws. Ms. Davidson reports:


There are worse things one can do than cut off a server; for example, cut off a head. That seems to be where other WikiLeaks critics are headed. Sarah Palin said that Assange should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden; Newt Gingrich said that he should be treated as an enemy combatant; and Bill Kristol wants the Obama Administration to think about kidnapping or killing Assange “and his collaborators.” Kristol doesn’t use the word “kill,” but rather “whack” and “neutralize,” as if some combination of slang and clinical talk made everything all right. Is that where we are? One question that came up in the debate about Obama putting Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, on an assassination list without even making a pretense of going through the courts was who else you could kill on the same grounds. It is striking to see how unabashedly that line of reasoning has been pursued. If we can shoot down Julian Assange, how about any investigative reporter who might learn something that embarrasses our government? We seem to have hopelessly confused national security with the ability of a particular Administration to pursue its policies.”

So, this is the group preferred by the Tea Party enthusiasts. The group that wants to “take back their country.” Yes, and return it to perhaps the 18th century, or maybe even earlier. Perhaps they have been taking lessons from Iran and Afghanistan.
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