۱۳۸۹ آبان ۹, یکشنبه
The Wretched Mind of the
By Glenn Greenwald
October 30, 2010 "Salon" -- Decadent governments often spawn a
decadent citizenry. A 22-year-old Nebraska resident was arrested
yesterday for waterboarding his girlfriend as she was tied to a couch,
because he wanted to know if she was cheating on him with another man;
I wonder where he learned that? There are less dramatic though no less
nauseating examples of this dynamic. In The Chicago Tribune today,
there is an Op-Ed from Jonah Goldberg -- the supreme, living embodiment
of a cowardly war cheerleader -- headlined: "Why is Assange still
alive?" It begins this way:
I'd like to ask a simple question: Why isn't Julian Assange dead? . . .
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.
He ultimately concludes that "it wouldn't do any good to kill him, given
the nature of the Web" -- whatever that means -- and reluctantly
acknowledges: "That's fine. And it's the law. I don't expect the U.S.
government to kill Assange, but I do expect them to try to stop
him." What he wants the Government to do to "stop" Assange is left
unsaid -- tough-guy neocons love to beat their chest and demand action
without having the courage to specify what they mean -- but his question
("Why isn't Julian Assange dead?") was published in multiple newspapers
around the country today.
Christian Whiton, a former Bush State Department official, wasn't as
restrained in his Fox News column last week, writing:
Rather, this [the WikiLeaks disclosure] is an act of political warfare
against the United States. . . . .Here are some of the things the U.S. could
do: . . .Explore opportunities for the president to designate WikiLeaks
and its officers as enemy combatants, paving the way for non-judicial
actions against them.
I emailed Whiton and told him I'd like to do a podcast interview with him
for Salon about his WikiLeaks proposal and he replied: "Thank you for
the invitation, but I am starting a trip tomorrow and will be on a plane just
about all day." I replied that it didn't have to be the next day -- I'd be
happy to do it any day that was convenient for him -- and he then stopped
answering. As I said, the real objective is for them to beat their chest in
public and show everyone how tough they are -- take 'em out, Whiton
roared -- but they then scamper away when called upon to be specific
about what they mean or to defend it (let alone to participate in the
violence they relentlessly urge). Whiton was just echoing his fellow war
cheerleader, torture advocate Marc Thiessen, who wrote this in
The Washington Post, under the headline "WikiLeaks Must be Stopped"
The government has a wide range of options for dealing with him. It can
employ not only law enforcement but also intelligence and military assets
to bring Assange to justice and put his criminal syndicate out of
"Military assets": apparently, according to this brave and battle-tested
warrior -- Marc Thiessen -- the U.S. can and should just send a drone over
London or Stockholm and eradicate Assange, or just send some ground
troops into Western Europe to abduct him.
Speaking of war cheerleaders, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg today points
to an Editorial by The New York Sun's Seth Lipsky which fantasizes -- as
Goldberg puts it -- that "Lincoln, and FDR as well, would have pretty
much tried to hang the Wikileaks founder for treason." Apparently,
the fact that Assange is not and never was an American citizen is no bar to
hanging him for "treason": when you wallow in self-centered, selfabsorbed
imperial exceptionalism, everyone on the planet has the
overarching duty of loyalty to your own government, and you think
everyone is under the auspices of American rule.
There are multiple common threads here: the cavalier call for people's
deaths, the demand for ultimate punishments without a shred of due
process, the belief that the U.S. is entitled to do whatever it wants
anywhere in the world without the slightest constraints, a wholesale
rejection of basic Western liberties such as due process and a free press,
the desire for the President to act as unconstrained monarch, and a
bloodthirsty frenzy that has led all of them to cheerlead for brutal, criminal
wars of aggression for a full decade without getting anywhere near the
violence they cheer on, etc. But that's to be expected. We lived for eight
years under a President who essentially asserted all of those powers and
more, and now have a one who has embraced most of them and added
some new ones, including the right to order even American citizens, far
from any battlefield, assassinated without a shred of due process. Given
that, it would be irrational to expect a citizenry other than the one that is
being molded with this mentality.
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