Sarah Palin is right, Assange should be “hunted like a terrorist”

The recent headline about whether Reagan was a “snitch” and Sarah Palin calling on the Obama Administration to hunt down Julian Assange as terrorist got me to thinking about how far we have come since the days when Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were tried for espionage and executed for passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.

The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953–just four years before I was born–but in my lifetime it is astonishing to me how far we as a society have gone down the tubes in this regard.  To understand how we got here, I believe a brief history lesson is in order. 

I grew up hearing over and over ad nauseum “don’t be a tattle-tale!”  Later, in the late 60s or early 70s the cooler kids started calling it “don’t be a Narc” as in “don’t Narc on your friends.” [I have no idea if this phrase still is popular, or with what it has been replaced.]

“The Godfather” book and movie etched in our brains the Sicilian code of honor known as “omerta.” Back then, breaking the code of silence got the person killed just amongst the Mafia. Over time, especially among gang members and certain portions of the ‘hood, just telling law enforcement that you witnessed a crime could get you killed.  At the very least, it could get you shunned and made into a pariah. 

In my lifetime, helping the authorities to solve a crime has gone from being a Patriotic Duty to a crime punishable by the death penalty–or at least the extreme depth of un-coolness.

The LA Times op-ed from yesterday entitled “Was Reagan A Snitch?” is in my opinion a hit piece by a liberal rag trying to smear the Patron Saint of Conservatives by applying todays’ accepted view of the term “snitch” to actions that occurred 70 years ago.  [The opinion piece was actually a good read, and somewhat balanced, but the use of the word “snitch” in the title was deliberately provacative.]  The short answer is yes, Reagan was “a snitch,” if you apply the current definition of the word.  But the answer is no, if you apply the definition of the word as it existed back when Reagan took his actions.

Back then, a snitch was a term used derogatively by criminals about other criminals.  It was also a term popularized by cops to describe an insider who snitched on other criminals.  Law abiding citizens were not snitches. 

Criminals do not want the authorities to discover when they break the law. Duh.  But back then, law-abiding citizens wanted to help the authorities fight crime.  Criminals called such law-abiding citizens “snitches,” while the vast majority of citizens called them “tipsters” or even “heroes.” 

When Reagan supposedly “snitched” on Commies he was doing what most law-abiding citizens would have done–he told the truth to help the authorities fight crime.  Our country was in a death struggle against communism. As usual, the left was aligned with our enemy the communists, and Reagan was aligned with our country. Communists were real enemies of America, and were attempting to secretly infiltrate all levels of government and society. 

Nowadays it is fashionable to look back and smile, and say such as “Oh, how quaint! They actually feared communism!”  But back then most Americans saw communism for what it is–a truly evil system of government that was used to justify killing tens of millions and enslaving half of Europe and most of Asia, and was being used to gain inroads in North and South America.

The Rosenberg’s actions, along with those of their co-conspirators, could have (and still might) gotten millions of Americans killed.  All they did was pass along a little classified information to the Russians.  No big deal, right? Wrong! It got them executed.

The left, and probably assorted other Big Government opponents, hail Assange as a hero.  They view him as they did the New York Times when it printed “The Pentagon Papers” as a mere conduit of information from a classified source to The People.  I view him as more of a Julius Rosenberg. The Rosenbergs did not invent the A-bomb, they merely passed along the classified information of how to build one to our enemies.  They certainly could not have escaped execution by passing the classified information along to the New York Times or The Washington Post instead of to Russian spies

The bottom line is our government must be able to keep certain information private. I certainly believe that the government keeps way too much information from the public [99% too much? I don’t know because I don’t know what I don’t know.]  We can and should argue about what should be kept secret.  But we cannot allow individuals to make that determination for us by publishing any and all classified information.  We are a government of laws, not of people. We must not allow a private in the army and a Wikileaks wannabe journalist to determine what our government can and cannot keep classified.

Unauthorized leaks of classified information hurt us as a society.  Individuals and other governments will be deterred from helping us anonymously.  Often that is the only politically viable source of help that they can provide.  Also, releasing classified information can get individuals killed. That is the nub of why Sarah Palin claims that Assange should be hunted down as our enemy.  I do not know if actual people have been killed because of the release of the information, but if they have, then I believe as she does that he should be treated as an enemy.

I’m not naive.  I know we cannot put the genie back in the bottle. The information is already out there, so we should use the opportunity to see what silly things our government has chosen to lie about and/or keep secret from us, and to change the laws to avoid such nonsense in the future. But we should also severely punish those responsible for leaking the information, to deter others from taking the law into their own hands in the future, and to give some reassurance to individuals and governments that in the future their anonymous actions will not be publicly published all over the internet. 

That’s my two cents worth.  What’s yours?

John Doe

UPDATE: Heh.  Reflexively libertarian is, well, reflexively libertarian.  TheClassicLiberal [ ] sides with Assange and likens him to the New York Times when it published The Pentagon Papers.  I say it ignores the fact that it puts him,  an unknown– even a non-citizen– in the position of judge, jury and executioner of what should and what should not be kept secret by our government. 

I start with the sane premise that the government must keep some secrets.  E.g., if we have an infiltrator in the al Qaida whose name is X, and who will be killed if his identity becomes public knowledge. Or we have a spy in Iran in like peril. Or the government of X country is helping us in this, this and that way, but denying it to their people or they will be attacked by their own citizens who favor islamofacism in the war against the USA.

Reflexive libertarians, however, idealogues who hate anything to do with government, think in simpler terms. Government bad.  Government secrets, VERY BAD.  Exposing government secrets GOOD!  Publisher of government secrets VERY GOOD. [And incidentally, if there is collateral damage when the top secrets are exposed, they presumably just scoff it off as the dumb luck of any stupid enough to help the USA. I’m speculating here, as I am not a refllexive libertarian…]

17 responses to “Sarah Palin is right, Assange should be “hunted like a terrorist”

  1. I’m with Michael; with respect to Assange, there’s absolutely no comparison between the Rosenberg’s and Wikileaks…

    Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.
    Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.
    We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. [emphasis mine] The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.
    So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

    Misplaced concern, hand-wringing and perturbation, JD…the contributors are the spies not the publishers.

  2. Michael Moore! The very same Michael Moore whose relentless pursuit of George W Bush denied Bush a second term in the White House – oh, wait…
    With defenders like MM, Assange should plan on growing old behind bars.

  3. Dubyah’s first term in the White House, was an unfortunate selection, by the conservative judges on the SCOTUS…when they overruled, the Florida Supreme Court and stopped the recounting of Presidential ballots in the state of Florida, where Albert Gore was on the verge of winning, the plurality of votes. Thus allowing GWB to become the forth President, without winning the majority of votes cast, in the whole of the USA.

    blockquote>1] John Quincy Adams (1824) [with four major candidates, NO ONE had a majority — note this election was NOT decided by the Electoral College, but in the House of Representatives]

    2] Rutherford B Hayes (1876) [though the popular vote count in this election was confused by MASSIVE ballot stuffing and Democratic intimidation of blacks in the South to keep them from voting]

    3] Benjamin Harrison (1892)

    4] George W Bush (2000)

    In 2000, George W. Bush was the first President elected in 112 years to lose the popular vote. Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B Hayes, and John Q Adams also all got elected losing the popular vote. They all were poor Presidents at best. It is likely GW Bush will be considered one of the worst, like the others.
    “…Bush won the pop vote in 2004, but if the people had had their way … he would [have lost the election in] 2000… To win the popular vote, is to win a majority, OR a plurality of popular votes. This is as defined by most countries, the FEC and state governors, as they allocate electoral votes to the plurality winner…

  4. From

    Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), was a U.S. Supreme Court case heard on December 11, 2000, which directly influenced the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. In three separate opinions, seven justices found that a ballot recount then being conducted in certain counties in the State of Florida was to be stopped due to the lack of a consistent standard; two justices disagreed. A 5-4 majority further declared in a per curiam opinion that there was insufficient time to establish standards for a new recount that would meet Florida’s deadline for certifying electors. [emphasis mine]
    The decision stopped the statewide recount that was occurring in Florida and allowed Florida Secretary of State (and Bush’s Florida campaign co-chair) Katherine Harris to certify George W. Bush as the winner of Florida’s electoral votes. Florida’s 25 electoral votes gave Bush a majority of the electoral college with 272 votes and enabled him to win the Presidency.

  5. Well…one thing about it…GWB could never be considered the worst President. Up until the last election, the worst President eveh, was Jimmy Carter. I think popular opinion now gives the “worst President eveh” award to the incumbent, BHO.


    • How’s that warehouse bein’ depleted, Mike…?
      I’m hopin’ there ain’t too much “green” in there…

      Oh “say hey” yah still have “ten days” left to make a great market…!

      Happy Holidays…Mike!
      God and Jimbo… dah Geezer, luvs an entrepreneur…!

  6. Hey Mike…
    Jimmah Carter, was both a nuclear engineer for the Navy and President of the US of A…
    He talks concerning his biggest failures…and his accomplishments here, Mike.

  7. Why would “proponents of big government” support someone who airs the usa’s dirty laundry? You’ve got it backwards. Lefties hate him, libertarians love him. Note the prominent democrats in the media criticizing him, sayin he should be shot, etc.

  8. assorted other Big Government opponents, hail Assange as a hero

    Logical fallacy.

    See this post and the link provided in the comments.

    Assange offered the US government a chance to redact any information they felt was genuinely harmful. They denied his request. Why is that? Perhaps your benevolent government needed another boogieman? Internet control for your protection? They could have stopped all of it from being released, but they didn’t. Why is that? Why did they wait until he released the info to drum up a stink?

    What about the sheer immorality of your Ruling Class that was discovered from the cables? Pimping out young boys to Afghan police? Hillary’s identity theft? Afghan drug running? Global warming lies? Is the Ruling Class exempt from morality? Or does the ends justify the means? Pimping out little boys is good because …

  9. assorted other Big Government opponents

    Sorry, I read the above as “proponents.” The left are “proponents” of Big Government, not opposed to it.

  10. First, CL, your “logical fallacy” crap is a non-starter. Michael Moore is a lefty Big Government type, and he has his tongue so far up Assange’s arse that he is tickling Assange’s epiglottis. Also, Big Government as currently constructed under the Osama, er Obama Administration has done nothing to stop Assange. I’d venture to guess that privately Little Boy Hussein Obama secretly admires the man.

    Second, what is up with the “YOUR” ruling class? I ain’t a part of the “ruling class” and I certainly do not support them in any way, shape or form. I just use common sense. We need some state secrets, and we cannot let some schmuck ferrinner decide what is and isn’t secret. After this is all over, and Assange is safely in prison (or better yet dead) then we can have the discussion about reigning in those who abuse the system.

    Third, if you think I somehow support pimping out young children, you haven’t read anything that I have ever written.

    There are better ways of handling this than dumping everything on the internet. Do it in stages. First go to Congressional Oversight Committee. That doesn’t get anywhere, threaten to release certain redacted portions to say the NY Times.That way the story is not about you, which Assange wants, and you aren’t breaking the law (I’m assuming that is against the law to publish state secrets–after “The Pentagon Papers” ruling, who the hell knows?).

  11. I have to doubt that Assange has any concern for what constitutes public interest or the greater good. He’s established a pattern:
    publish first, redact later.

  12. This info was stored on computers with open USB ports. That the government really cared about his information getting out is a complete joke. I can’t believe how many people can’t see through this. The government WANTED Wikileaks to happen as an excuse to begin clamping down on the web. That’s why they’re targeting Assange because he’s on the internet. No one is even talking about the fact that the computers these supposed top,top secrets are on are less secure than my own. If anyone is putting anyone’s lives in danger, its obviously our own government.

  13. Again, Assange DID give the government the opportunity to redact the cables (see link above; comments), but they refused. Why? Did they need another “crisis” so they could push for more government power? Internet censorship?

    The government had months to do something about the cables prior to their release, but did nothing. What was their motive? Did they need an “emergency?” For what? “Cyber war?”

    Second, nothing of significance, other than blatant crimes and embarrassments for the Ruling Class came out because of those cables. No “lives in danger.” See:

    Crisis and leviathan … that’s all this is. A trumped up threat for more control.

  14. Well kiss my grits…
    How about these apples…?

    Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative…

    Be sure to read the damning “links” in the “Rawstory”…!

  15. Last week Firedoglake, laid out this scenario…

    Assange Accuser Worked with US-Funded, CIA-Tied Anti-Castro Group …

    It would appear we’re eleven days late, and more than a “greenback dollar” short…?

  16. Yah wanna dig real deep…?

    Taking Stock of WikiLeaks…

    Have fun…!

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