Justin Raimondo has this very well done column at Antiwar.com, Defend WikiLeaks – Boycott Amazon, in which he asserts that because Amazon.com caved to Sen. Joe Lieberman’s demand that Amazon end its providing of Internet servers for WikiLeaks, therefore Amazon is an “extension of the state,” and Amazon needs to be boycotted. I have already linked to several good posts by libertarians who mostly oppose boycotting Amazon, and I agree with them. I have some points to make, though, in response to Justin Raimondo.
Regarding the call to boycott Amazon, Raimondo seems to be asserting that it’s a choice between politics or principle (something to which I have referred in the past), “You’re either for liberty, or you’re against it: there is no middle ground,” asserts Raimondo.
Now, if you are going to boycott Amazon.com because they have stopped providing WikiLeaks with servers, then, if you really are principled and consistent, you would have to boycott every other company that offers Internet servers and who isn’t providing WikiLeaks with servers. There are probably hundreds of them. Should we boycott all of them? Are they morally obligated to provide WikiLeaks with servers? Is Amazon.com morally obligated to provide WikiLeaks with servers, just because they, Amazon.com, possess and provide servers?
And also, I would think that we would boycott a company for doing something bad, not because the company isn’t doing something that we want them to do. For example, boycott a company that does business with a racist apartheid State, such as the old South Africa, or the present Israel. That would be a boycott against a company based on the company’s doing something of which we disapprove, or its colluding with a racist State.
But to suggest that we ought to boycott a company because it is isn’t doing something – in this case, not providing WikiLeaks with servers, and I know they were providing servers but then withdrew the support – is suggesting that you are saying to Amazon: “you must provide WikiLeaks with servers, or we’ll boycott you.” (Even though there are many other companies available that provide servers – Amazon isn’t the only one.) Is that really what Raimondo is advocating?
And Paul Craig Roberts has this article on LewRockwell.com, Western Civilization Has Shed Its Values, in which he comments on the WikiLeaks cablegate matter, and notes that the most important revelation was regarding Hillary Clinton Rodham’s secret cables requesting “credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers and biographic and biometric information including DNA information on UN officials from the Secretary General down, including ‘heads of peace operations and political field missions.’”
Now, that order by Clinton Rodham was in July, 2009, which implies that the items requested had already been or are being provided to her. Wouldn’t that mean that Hillary has committed ID theft? I think so. And, given that she’s a government official, and a high government official at that, there shouldn’t be any requirement that the evidence against her was obtained “legally”(and I don’t know whether information provided to WikiLeaks by someone makes WikiLeaks guilty of anything, because they didn’t actively go break into someone’s office and steal it).
“In some areas, a radical distinction between private persons and government officials is acknowledged in existing law and opinion. Thus, a private individual’s ‘right to privacy’ or right to keep silent does not and should not apply to government officials, whose records and operations should be open to public knowledge and evaluation. There are two democratic arguments for denying the right to privacy to government officials, which, while not strictly libertarian, are valuable as far as they go: namely (1) that in a democracy, the public can only decide on public issues and vote for public officials if they have complete knowledge of government operations; and (2) that since the taxpayers pay the bill for government, they should have the right to know what government is doing. The libertarian argument would add that, since government is an aggressor organization against the rights and persons of its citizens, then full disclosure of its operations is at least one right that its subjects might wrest from the State, and which they may be able to use to resist or whittle down State power.”
If anyone is dangerous to America, and to our freedom, it’s Joe Lieberman. This nut wants to remove citizenship from people accused of terrorism – not convicted based on a trial with due process and evidence brought forth, but merely suspected of terrorism – and he wants to shut down the Internet, based on panic and fear-mongering, but really for the purpose of suppressing dissent, and he’s a damn warmonger with Iraq and now Iran, both cases being based on emotional propaganda and not facts.
I don’t think I’ve seen a government official so obnoxiously against freedom, against Presumption of Innocence, against the Rule of Law, against civil liberties, against Due Process, against private property, against freedom of association, against freedom of movement, against free speech, and against common sense. Joe Lieberman hasn’t a clue as far as what America is really supposed to stand for – you know, freedom? (Yeah, that thing.)
Speaking of Joe Lieberman’s Internet censorship, Glenn Greenwald notes that Lieberman has threatened another Internet software company into removing graphics from the WikiLeaks website. Greenwald writes about the senior imbecile from Connecticut and the State-worshiping news media:
He’s on some kind of warped mission where he’s literally running around single-handedly dictating what political content can and cannot be on the Internet, issuing broad-based threats to “all companies” that — by design — are causing suppression of political information…
What Lieberman is doing is a severe abuse of power, and even for our anemic, power-revering media, it ought to be a major scandal (though it’s not because, as Digby says, all our media stars can process is that “Julian Assange is icky”).
If people — especially journalists — can’t be riled when Joe Lieberman is unilaterally causing the suppression of political content from the Internet, when will they be?
In his subsequent post, The lawless Wild West attacks WikiLeaks, Greenwald highlights the Constitutional brilliance of the senior fascist from Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell who says that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has done damage to the country! Can you believe that? Can you see how amazingly ignorant these people are n Washington? McConnell stated that Assange needs to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” And, McConnell the ignorant fascist continues, if there is no particular law that Assange can be found to have broken, McConnell and his fellow totalitarians will just make one up! Just like a true Stalinist. Greenwald continues:
People often have a hard time believing that the terms “authoritarian” and “tyranny” apply to their own government, but that’s because those who meekly stay in line and remain unthreatening are never targeted by such forces. The face of authoritarianism and tyranny reveals itself with how it responds to those who meaningfully dissent from and effectively challenge its authority: do they act within the law or solely through the use of unconstrained force?…
…All the oppressive, lawless policies of the last decade — lawless detention, Guantanamo, disappearing people to CIA black sites, rendition, the torture regime, denial of habeas corpus, drones, assassinations, private mercenary forces, etc. — were designed, first and foremost, to instill exactly this fear, to deter any challenge. Many of these policies continue, and that climate of fear thus endures (see this comment from today as but one of many examples). As the treatment just thus far of WikiLeaks and Assange demonstrates, that reaction — though paralyzing and counter-productive — is not irrational. And one thing is for sure: there is nothing the U.S. Government could do — no matter how lawless or heinous — which (with rare exception) would provoke the objections of the American establishment media.
The State and its unchecked violence always prefers silence rather than information, and, given the slobbering the news media in general have been doing over their Savior, Barack Obomber, it should be of no surprise that the Fourth Estate — now hanging by a thread in its ever-increasing caving to the demands of the State to further curtail its dissemination of information — will not speak up in defense of WikiLeaks, and in defense of the American people’s right to know what their government is up to in their name. Unfortunately, many Americans lap up the propaganda for war, for anti-”terror” policies that are doing nothing but increasing the provocations of the inhabitants of Middle-Eastern and Asian countries and thus increasing the risk of terrorism against Americans.
At the time of the American Revolution, supposedly, 1/3 of the population were for secession from British rule and willing to fight for it, 1/3 were indifferent, and 1/3 supported the status quo. It’s not very much different now, I’m afraid.