Monday, November 29, 2010

THE TERRORIST HAS WON. Of the many conservative commentators who think the new WikiLeaks dump is absolutely immoral and simultaneously proves we should change U.S. foreign policy to suit their prejudices, there may be no riper example than James Carifano at National Review:
The administration can, however, do two things to repair the damage wrought by WikiLeaks. First, it can embrace a foreign policy that our adversaries fear and our friends respect. Nobody gets more cooperation than a winner. For starters, the president should dump the New START treaty — its one-sidedness makes the U.S. look like a lousy negotiator in the eyes of the world… and a patsy in the eyes of the Russians. He should also reject out of hand calls to gut the defense budget and just flat out declare that America will stick it out in Iraq and Afghanistan until the job is done. And while he’s at it, he could stand up to China and stop extending the hand of friendship to regimes interested in a world without freedom or America.
I haven't read them all, but I don't see why the leaks demand the death of START -- because we called Putin Batman, maybe? Russia's international wheeling and dealing as revealed by WikiLeaks is neither a shock nor out of character. I'm guessing Carifano just considers the docs a good news hook to promote the planned Republican obstruction of the treaty in Congress.

As for the allegedly necessary result of leaving defense out of the budget cutting we heard so much about during the recent electoral campaign, there's the fig leaf for the small-gummint Tea Partiers to wear when they excuse the Pentagon from the bloodletting. Rand Paul, your come-to-Jesus moment has arrived!

"Stand up to China" is just an old-fashioned rightwing non-sequitur, as we are in it up to our eyeballs with that totalitarian regime on a bipartisan basis. Ask Rupert Murdoch.

Carifano also claims "the leaks could well get people killed" and wonders how Assange sleeps at night. That's gratitude for you! WikiLeaks is pure gold for these guys, since their customary free-associative style applies as well to its revelations as to anything else -- if Assange next leaks medical records from our various diplomatic outposts, I bet Carifano will find in them an indictment of government health care -- and gives their deranged conclusions added publicity to boot.

They should be sending Assange tokens of appreciation. He is, after all, providing them a crisis, and being good Alinskyites they aren't letting it go to waste.

UPDATE. Looks like they're softening toward Assange:
Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, tells National Review Online that the WikiLeaks controversy shows how the White House is keeping Congress in the dark on foreign policy...

Although he agrees with calls for the [WikiLeaks] perpetrators’ prosecution, he’s not convinced that Rep. Pete King’s suggestion that the government label WikiLeaks a terrorist organization is feasible. “I wouldn’t get to the point of classifying WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization,” Hoekstra says. “I don’t think under our current framework you could do that. You may be able to get them under espionage, but it’s difficult.”
WikiLeaks' services to the nation are noted. In a few more weeks they'll put Assange up for the Medal of Honor.

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