If you go by the words of non-hysterical non-extremists like Michael Reagan and Dean Esmay, Iraq doubters and war critics deserve to be hung. Terrorists listen, we were told. There’s nothing that a terrorist loves more than a little dissent, just ask Scott McClellan, or Dick Cheney, or Ken Mehlman or any other rightwing pundit worth his seat at FOX. Newt Gingrich, for example:
I think it’s quite clear as you point out, Sean, that from this tape, that bin Laden and his lieutenants are monitoring the American news media, they’re monitoring public opinion polling, and I suspect they take a great deal of comfort when they see people attacking United States policies.
That word, comfort, comes up surprisingly often in rightwing discourse. Aid as well. Any knuckle-chewing retard can figure out the reference:
Section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
Folks like Esmay and Reagan at least had the integrity to stand behind their words. People with weaker spines tossed around aid-and-comfort as if they had no idea that it came from a statute that, gosh, wouldn’t you know it carries a sentence of death. Strangely enough I have some respect for Reagan and Esmay for following through on their rhetoric, and I will have even more if they show a bipartisan spirit and call for Gingrich’s traitorous head on a red-white-and-blue platter. How about it, guys?
Greenwald has the must-read on this. You will die of old age before Esmay and Reagan call for Gingrich’s head.
How is the latest round of criticism from Buckley, Fukuyama or Gingrich qualitatively different from the tantamount-to-terrorism stuff that you heard two years ago from Howard Dean? Save your energy, it is not. Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich and Frances Fukuyama, among others, have now gone on record as saying that invading and occupying Iraq was a counterproductive mistake. Yet unless you count the ongoing Krauthammer-Fukuyama cage match, silence. Treason apparently is only treason if a Democrat does it.
If you wondered why I point and laugh whenever a Republican accuses Democrats of poisoning the pristine well of political rhetoric, now you know.
For the sake of accuracy I should point out that Dean Esmay was criticizing a leak concerning the NSA program rather than criticism of the Iraq war. I understand the degree to which those two things are different and apologize for not making that clear above.
The action of leaking sensitive information is every bit as much a two-way street as criticizing the Iraq war. Republicans leak sensitive information all the time when it suits their political interests. Should they hang as well? I doubt that many who agreed with Esmay will take that stance. Many will use the dishonest dodge that nothing that any Republican has leaked amounts to damaging information, or as they say IOKIYAR. On the theoretical level, should a Republican hang for leaking genuinely damaging information? I expect that the shoe does not fit so well on the other foot.