While the release of material from Wikileaks continues, the reaction against its founder Julian Assange is building. And some of that reaction has been angry, irrational and even bloodthirsty. The least reasoned of the arguments have come from the country featured most prominently, the USA – but then, it was their lack of security that kicked the whole thing off.
At the Murdoch New York Post, op-ed columnist Rich Lowry has asserted that Assange is on an anti-American trip, in a piece titled “It’s WikiHateAmerica”. The hyperbole is as one might expect from Rupe’s downmarket troops: Assange is “delusional”, his goal is “wanton destruction”, he is “blinded by zeal”, has a “twisted worldview” and is indulging in “juvenile leftism”.
Lowry compares Assange to Baader-Meinhof and the Red Brigades, and urges the US Justice Department to “harry and shut down Assange”, which might sound more realistically sinister if that Department had jurisdiction outside the States. But at least he stops short of calling for specific sentences to be handed down, or acts to be carried out.
At the Washington Times, though, Jeffrey Kuhner is not interested in anything short of his preferred remedy for the perceived slight to his country dealt out by Wikileaks: his call is for the US Government to assassinate Assange. Kuhner justifies his call by characterising the Wikileaks founder as “an anti-American radical who wants to see the United States defeated by its Islamic fascist enemies”.
Moreover, froths Kuhner, Assange’s goal “is to humiliate America on the world stage”, he is “an active, wilful enabler of Islamic terrorism”, “as much a threat as Osama bin Laden”, and is “an enemy combatant”, the last comment confirming the direction in which its author is headed.
Nor are these hacks an exclusive minority: as I pointed out last week, the idea of an aggressive response to Wikileaks has been coming out loud and clear from our old friends at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
[UPDATE: My thanks to Chris Dillow at Stumbling And Mumbling for including this post in his blog links]