Sarah Palin is so outraged about the breach of security by WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange that she wants him to be hunted down like a terrorist – just as soon as she’s through reading the U.S. State Department cables that Assange made public through WikiLeaks. This is what she wrote on her Facebook page last month:
“Assange is not a ‘journalist,’ any more than the ‘editor’ of al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a ‘journalist.’ He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”
It’s so thoughtful for Palin, a Fox News contributor, to define for us what a journalist is. After all, she considers herself a journalist by virtue of having acquired a degree in communications (after attending five colleges) and reading weekend sports scores on a local Alaskan TV station.
However, this week Palin published an op-ed in USA Today that exposes an ironic twist to her hypocrisy. In the article she (or rather her ghostwriter) rails against the Obama administration for not being sufficiently panicked by Iran’s alleged efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities. She’s done her homework and can reveal that…
“…now we know for sure because of leaked diplomatic cables. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia ‘frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program,’ according to these communications.”
The reason Palin knows what she claims to know is only because Assange published the cables she is referencing. However, were she to get her way he would be executed for treason (a legal impossibility because he isn’t a U.S. citizen, but having a grasp of facts never stopped her before). So Palin thinks that Assange has blood on his hands for publishing the materials she is now using to validate her hawkishness toward Iran and her attack on President Obama. By her own assessment she has adopted a terrorist as her source.
Without realizing it, Palin has actually justified Assange’s commitment to the free flow of information that permits people to know what their government is doing in their name. She is herself a beneficiary of that commitment to a free press. By referencing the WikiLeaks cables Palin is, in effect, honoring Assange and his heroic work. Without him she would never have known about King Abdullah’s exhortations. Nevertheless, she refuses to acknowledge him as a journalist, and has no qualms about exploiting data that she believes should be classified and that she obtained from someone she compares to Al Qaeda.
The rest of Palin’s op-ed was a frenetic advocacy of military intervention with Iran. She cavalierly dismisses the economic and diplomatic efforts currently underway and proposes her own solutions such as banning all financial dealings with Iranian banks, limiting Iran’s access to international capital markets and banking services, and closing air space and waters to Iran’s national air and shipping lines. Amongst the many things that Palin doesn’t know is that her proposals are tantamount to a declaration of war. That would be an irresponsible and unconscionable strategy insofar as Iran’s nuclear ambitions are many years from bearing fruit and we are a long ways from having exhausted less hostile remedies.
Palin’s plan would result in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of American soldiers, not to mention Iranian, Israeli, and other civilians in the region. And it would put our country in the position of having to fight three simultaneous wars. It would also destroy any hope for advancing the interests of Iranian dissidents as those who were not neutralized by the Iranian government would turn against their U.S. aggressors. Starving and/or bombing people is not the best way to gain their affection. But what would you expect from a woman who hosts a TV reality show on which she pounds fish and shoots reindeer?
This editorial is just another example of why Palin is utterly unqualified for national leadership. She is ignorant and unstable. And she is so afraid of presenting herself to the media to defend her bizarre and dangerous positions that she hides behind occasional op-eds, Fox News, Twitter, and her Facebook wall, where she will never have to respond to criticism. And from the safety of her cyber-perch she bashes Julian Assange even as she uses his work to prop up her harebrained schemes.