One side effect of the Wikileaks controversy is how it’s fracturing the Tea Party movement. On the one hand, Ron Paul recently tweeted his support for Wikileaks:
Re: Wikileaks – In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.
At its core, the Wikileaks controversy serves as a diversion from the real issue of what our foreign policy should be. But the mainstream media, along with neoconservatives from both political parties, insist on asking the wrong question. When presented with embarrassing disclosures about U.S. spying and meddling, the policy that requires so much spying and meddling is not questioned. Instead, the media focus on how so much sensitive information could have been leaked, or how authorities might prosecute the publishers of such information.
With which I agree in full. And, as my friend Ed Brayton noted, Tea Party-sympathetic columnist Larry Klayman also has good things to say about the group, even if I don’t think his analysis is frankly worth all that much. Still, Wikileaks gets support.
On the other hand, a prominent Tea Party group has called for the assassination of Julian Assange, and others have made similar noises. As Sarah Palin said of him, “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?”
So which one is it? Heroically exposing the misdeeds of the Democrats, the neoconservatives, and the military-industrial complex? Or hurting American interests abroad? The Tea Party never has been much more than a very loose oppositional movement, and Wikileaks is one of the first issues that challenged it to say something more than “no” to whatever the Democrats wanted. Already, they’re having trouble keeping together.