Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Unqualified Offerings: Glenn Reynolds Says: "Assassinations R US"

One of the saddest, despair-inducing phenomena among many in the current American political crisis has been the wholesale moral corruption of people who once were principled and reasonable libertarians or liberals. Among the more disturbing public descents into true depravity has been Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds’ Bush-era ideological trajectory. Some months ago he breezily noted claims that the death, maiming and carnage in Iraq are no more of a big deal than the homicide rates in American cities such as Philadelphia.

Now, he is openly advocating the assassination – assassination — of civilians in nations with whom we are not even at war. Glenn Greenwald, who is now blogging at Salon (brief ad click-though req’d), documents how extreme and contrary to American values and law is Reynolds’ latest horrific pronouncement:

Every administration, Democratic and Republican, have agreed that creating death squads and engaging in extra-judicial assassinations is so repugnant to our political values and so destructive to our moral credibility around the world that an absolute ban is necessary — including at the height of the Cold War…

. And what is most striking is that these anti-assassination prohibitions apply (a) to wartime and (b) even to foreign leaders of nations who are at war. But here, Reynolds is actually advocating that we murder scientists and religious figures who are “radical,” whatever that might happen to mean in the unchecked mind of George Bush.

If we are to be a country that now sends death squads into nations with whom we are not at war to slaughter civilians — scientists and religious figures — what don’t we do?

Yesterday, the popular Republican blog Red State advocated war with Iran and embraced having it spread throughout the Middle East. Now, the respected (look, he is, whether readers here like it or not) law professor Glenn Reynolds is advocating extra-judicial murder of civilians at the whim of George W. Bush — and Hugh Hewitt thinks that’s a great idea. As Greenwald documents, these Bush supporters are embracing a policy Abraham Lincoln explicitly rejected as barbaric during the height of this nation’s bloody Civil War.

It may be a cliché, but those generally exist because they are based in truth; more than a few Bush supporters would have us become the things we purport to hate. We are well down the road of national vitiation already, but not far enough for Glenn Reynolds.

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