I have to agree with Matt Welch’s criticism of Bill Kristol’s call for forceful state action against Wikileaker and accused rapist Julian Assange.
I happened to catch Bill, who I have past admired, saying much the same yesterday while watching Special Report on Fox News for the first time in years. Krauthammer was even worse, openly suggesting we kill Assange.
While I don’t buy any claims of altruism on Assange’s part (the most plausible explanation of his behavior at this point seems to be a flailing attempt to avoid jail time for the sexual assault charges by becoming a cause celebre on other grounds), this is both thuggishly authoritarian and pretty stupid besides. Kristol and Krauthammer claim, with considerable accuracy, that our inaction makes us look like a “pitiful, helpless giant,” but far better to be a giant restrained to ineffectiveness by morality and forbearance than a petty, thuggish, malicious giant stomping on random flighty European Aussie perverts whenever its interests are threatened — especially since we almost certainly couldn’t prevent the leak anyway, and would appear just as ineffective only murderously spiteful instead of forbearing.