Julian Assange: bank account closed, prepares to meet with police, face talking-point wrath of GOP hopefuls
“In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.” Ron Paul
To illustrate the divide between Ron Paul and the likely field of GOP presidential contenders, we shall turn to Daniel McCarthy:
Sarah Palin: “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”
Newt Gingrich: “Information warfare is warfare, and Julian Assange is engaged in warfare. Information terrorism, which leads to people getting killed, is terrorism, and Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant.”
Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, is the compassionate conservative who contents himself with demanding capital punishment for (presumably) Bradley Manning: “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”
Apparently Bill O’Reilly believes that even foreigners like Assange can be tried for treason. And why not? “We’re an empire now,” as a flunky of George W. Bush’s once said, and that means anyone anywhere might be asked to kill or die for Uncle Sam.
And in two short years one of the three people listed above could be the ‘leader of the free world’. And why not? I for one will relish the irony.
P.S. To Jaybird’s first comment: Obviously Obama is terrible on civil liberties issues and his administration’s response to this and other national security issues is awful. But I can pretty safely bet that the three GOP candidates-in-waiting listed above would be worse. That doesn’t excuse Obama – but at least the current president isn’t calling for Assange’s execution, and as far as I know his own rhetoric on the issue has not reached this level at any point.