In Which I Part From The Right

I have to agree with Matt Welch's criticism of Bill Kristol's call for forceful state action against Wikileaker and accused rapist Julian Assange.

I happened to catch Bill, who I have past admired, saying much the same yesterday while watching Special Report on Fox News for the first time in years. Krauthammer was even worse, openly suggesting we kill Assange.

While I don't buy any claims of altruism on Assange's part (the most plausible explanation of his behavior at this point seems to be a flailing attempt to avoid jail time for the sexual assault charges by becoming a cause celebre on other grounds), this is both thuggishly authoritarian and pretty stupid besides. Kristol and Krauthammer claim, with considerable accuracy, that our inaction makes us look like a "pitiful, helpless giant," but far better to be a giant restrained to ineffectiveness by morality and forbearance than a petty, thuggish, malicious giant stomping on random flighty European Aussie perverts whenever its interests are threatened -- especially since we almost certainly couldn't prevent the leak anyway, and would appear just as ineffective only murderously spiteful instead of forbearing.

posted by Dave on 11.30.10 at 01:49 PM


What am I not understanding?

Why is nobody talking about taking action against the source(s) of the stolen information?

Larry Sheldon   ·  November 30, 2010 3:15 PM

Assange is Australian.

anonymous   ·  November 30, 2010 3:54 PM

Assange is Australian, not European.

I don't think we should "stomp" on him, but I don't see why we shouldn't prosecute him, if possible.

Jim Miller   ·  November 30, 2010 3:55 PM

We may not have to do anything... if recent reports are correct, and he's going to publish leaks regarding Russia in the near future, I would say his days on this earth will likely be numbered without the U.S. having to lift a finger.

John S.   ·  November 30, 2010 4:58 PM

Really? But he looks so Euro.

Thanks for the correction.

TallDave   ·  November 30, 2010 6:31 PM

Kristol helped orchestrate big government conservatism, and he has gotten a pass from the left and the right. Nice to see people throwing the Constitution at him occasionally.

If you want to know what's wrong with the GOP, start with Kristol.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 30, 2010 10:05 PM

Yeah, Kristol lost me long ago when he and Fred Barnes started calling me a racist because I want our immigration laws to be followed.

They were all happy with "Compassionate Conservatism" with its big gov't result.

Veeshir   ·  December 1, 2010 10:38 AM

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