Rightbloggers on WikiLeaks: Kill Julian Assange, But Not Till We Use His Stuff Against Obama
Rightbloggers generally take a two-pronged approach to the leaks: They believe the new document dump is an unpardonable breach of U.S. security -- except to the extent that it may be used to denigrate the Obama Administration, it which case they feel it deserves wider dissemination.
It's not as if rightbloggers have been alone in denouncing Wikileaks, as mainstream media outlets from the New York Times on down have attacked Assange from all directions -- while sopping up his revelations on the basis of their newsworthiness.
But that is an old, time-honored form of journalistic hypocrisy: Using hot news to draw readers with one hand, and tut-tutting its shameful provenance with the other. Rightbloggers have added a few new wrinkles to the game.
Back when Assange leaked the Iraq War data, for example, they dismissed the revelations of bad behavior by our Iraqi allies ("they appear to illustrate the inherent -- and forseeable -- problems with the nation-building strategy we pursued in Iraq and are still pursuing in Afghanistan," soothed The American Spectator), and cheerfully plucked the bits that supported their own interests.
The documents suggested to them that a previous, speculative accounting by The Lancet had overestimated real Iraqi casualties of the war, and that the discovery of some old chemical weapons proved that Saddam had WMDs after all. Counter-arguments could be made that The Lancet was measuring different kinds of casualties than the leaked documents addressed, and that the discovered chemical weapons did not constitute a real threat to the United States ("Later investigation revealed those contents to be vitamins"). But for rightbloggers the message was clear: "... the two biggest scoops from the latest document dump are that the infamous Lancet study was bogus, and that WMDs were found in Iraq in quantity."
They apparently thought Assange had made these revelations by accident or out of self-sabotage, as he was of the "Left" and thus was leaking on his own cause. "I delight in the unintended consequence Assange's revelations has produced," said Melanie Morgan. "It seems to be the Left contradicting itself in the propaganda arena," said Right Pundits. "The WikiLeaksters seem to have inadvertently done history a bit of a favor in the their obsession," said NewsBusters, in dispelling "leftist folklore."
None of this altered their feeling that by leaking this info Assange was aiding the enemy, and possible guilty of murder.
"Gosh, isn't it nice that the enemy will be able to identify Iraqis who died by name and whose side they were fighting on, so they can go after their families, either to kill them or recruit them, depending on the circumstances?" said BizzyBlog. "What a guy this Mr. Assange is." "Julian Assange: Jerkoff troop killer," wrote The North Star National.
National Review's Jonah Goldberg asked, "Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?" Goldberg asserted that the leaks were "going to get people killed, including brave Iraqis and Afghans who've risked their lives and the lives of their families to help us." Nonetheless, he lamented, "Even if the CIA wanted to take him out, they couldn't without massive controversy. That's because assassinating a hipster Australian Web guru as opposed to a Muslim terrorist is the kind of controversy no official dares invite."
Look at this fucking hipster.
(Goldberg tried to hop out of his own overheated logic train at the end -- "Ultimately, I don't expect the U.S. government to kill Assange, but I do expect them to try to stop him" -- and complained, when called out on his homicidal fantasy, that "there's nothing in the quote at Balloon Juice to justify the claim I call for [Assange's] murder." To shore up his position, he challenged a writer at Gawker to a fistfight.)
Last weekend the diplomatic leaks was released, and with them came the usual calls for Assange's death and/or detention. "Julian Assange, Why is He Still Breathing?" asked Paladin's Page. "Assange should be looking at the inside of a container on a ship doing lazy racetracks around the Indian Ocean," said Blackfive. "I won't think twice if Julian Assange meets the cold blade of an assassin," said Donald Douglas. Etc.
The Obama Administration denounced the leaks but, having not the stones to send a cold-bladed assassin to preempt Assange, failed to prevent them, which rightbloggers declared proof of the Kenyan Pretender's malfeasance or worse.