The CIA Should Protect, Not Assassinate, Julian Assange

Former Reagan official Paul Craig Roberts suggested that the CIA may end up killing Julian Assange. That’s a terrible idea, for more reasons than one.

Speaking with “Russia Today” about Wikileaks leader Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden on rape and sexual assault allegations, Roberts, Ronald Reagan’s former assistant Treasury Secretary and the mastermind behind “Reaganomics,” said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the CIA killed Assange.

“In my opinion, if the legal attempt, which I’m sure the United States government is behind—if this fails, he’ll simply be assassinated by a CIA assassination team,” said Roberts, who described Assange as a “very much a threat” to the U.S. and other governments.

“It’s common practice for the CIA to do that. It’s nothing unusual about it. The Congress had many hearings in the mid-70s and it’s in the public record that they’re always assassinating people.”

“Always” may be a bit of a stretch, but, yes, the U.S. government does employ assassination to get their way. In fact, Dennis Blair, President Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence, insisted in 2010 that the government has the “right” to kill people it considers the enemy.

Those who loathe Assange, whom they see as a threat to national security, would likely cheer his demise, and in fact some have encouraged it: Sarah Palin infamously said the online warrior should be considered an “anti-American operative” and wondered, “Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”

Conservative columnist William Kristol asked roughly the same question, writing, “Why can’t we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are? Why can’t we disrupt and destroy WikiLeaks in both cyberspace and physical space, to the extent possible?”

Well, the simplest argument against a CIA “neutralization” of Assange is that such a move would be completely illegal and immoral. But, of course, morals are often pushed to the sidelines when it comes to foreign and national security affairs. This we know.

Assange’s death would not only turn him into a martyr, no doubt sparking an online assault by Anonymous and other allied groups; it would also add more fuel to anti-American fires.

If Assange were to die, our foreign enemies could—and would—use the event as evidence of how the “evil American empire” uses force and violence to sustain itself, like Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has as he attempts to blame “foreign rats” for his nation’s ongoing unrest.

Even if the CIA wasn’t involved in an hypothetical Assange assassination, it would catch the blame because, frankly, it has the resources and the motive.

The best thing the United States, the CIA and other concerned parties can do at the moment is guarantee Assange’s personal safety, because his death would blow up in their faces and give foreign adversaries more ammunition than any amount of leaked diplomatic cables.

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