Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.
So, let’s see what we have this week….but first, a word.
By now, most of you know that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested today in London over charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault in Sweden, that he’s been denied bail and is fighting extradition.
At that, a nice Swedish jail for a few months might end up being the safest place for Assange at the moment.
But what I found most curious is some of the inane suggestions here in America on how to handle Assange.
For instance, Senator Dianne Feinstein,(D-CA) normally pretty level headed for a Democrat proposes that we prosecute Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act.
She’s by no means alone in that.
Not only does she somehow conveniently forget that Assange is an Australian citizen and thus not subject to this law but that the law itself is a tool grown rusty from disuse, even if Assange were subject to it.
We haven’t prosecuted anyone seriously under the Act since WWI, although there are a number of people who certainly could have been tried and even convicted under the statute. Even if he were somehow to be tried under the Espionage Act, Assange’s lawyers could make the case that using the law in his situation constituted special and unreasonable prosecution, especially since the Act specifies that it applies “when the United States is at war” and we’re officially not at war with anyone right now.
That last factoid aside, one thing Senator Feinstein lacks the intellectual honesty to mention is that while Assange may not be subject to it there are US citizens who could be prosecuted under the law. Feinstein asserts the Act makes it a felony for an unauthorized person to possess or transmit “information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”
If that’s true, then is there any reason the editor, publisher and responsible parties working at the New York Times haven’t been arrested and charged? After all, CNN was offered the same material that the merry souls over at Pravda-on-the-Hudson published and declined it.
Of course, that’s not exactly a place people on the Left like Feinstein want to go.But that kind of treatment for the seditious souls at the Times is long overdue,in my opinion. It’s far from the first time they’ve endangered the lives of far better men and women simply to push their political agenda.
When it comes to Assange and his friends, we really have two choices. One is simply to terminate them with extreme prejudice, as the saying goes. The other is to pull an Eichmann…kidnap them, bring them to US jurisdiction and try them under our laws.
When the Mossad kidnapped Adolf Eichmann from Argentina and brought him to Israel for trial, both Argentina and Germany made token protests but moved on to other matters when the Israelis simply ignored them and pursued long overdue justice.
Julian Assange is not Adolf Eichmann, and it would remain to be seen how this would affect our relations with Australia, which might weigh in on how we handle him and his friends at Wikileaks,
But I think those two choices are the choices we have.
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