The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

High Crimes and Mythdemeanors

     Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange have been in the news much of late. Much of the United States Government seem to want to arrest him, except for those who want to assassinate him. There are those who say that he is a journalist and/ or a hero, but few of them are part of the executive or legislative branches of government. A few people have pointed out that outside of some rather unusual charges in Sweden involving unprotected sex, he actually has not committed any crime. This has caused a lot of public prosecutors to franticly try to find something to charge him with. The current favorite is the Espionage Act of 1917, which had very little to do with busting spies and a lot to do with finding a way to throw union organizers and Socialists like Eugene Debbs into prison.

     All of this discussion seems to be ignoring two facts that strike me as being of more than passing importance: 1) Mr. Assange is not a citizen of the United States, and 2) He does not reside in the United States or it's territories or possessions and he was not on American soil when the alleged crime took place. Now lately we have on occasion, gone into other countries and seized their citizens on terrorism or drug charges  and tried them here. There is a technical term for this. It is called an act of war. If you don't believe me, read up on the early history of this country. The War of 1812 was at least in part caused by the British Empire impressing American citizens into the Royal Navy. Currently a dozen members of the C.I.A. stand convicted of kidnapping and other high crimes for acts of extraordinary rendition on Italian soil.

    There is no indication that the Obama administration has any intention of surrendering the agents involved. Extradition was ignored at the time of the trial by the Bush administration.

    Lately the phrase "American exceptionalism" has come to mean, "The rules only apply to those other people." That is why so many people hate us.

    Be seeing you.

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