Huckabee Wants Leaker Executed

Via the Florida IndependentHuckabee calls for execution of person who leaked diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks

“Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty,” he said in an interview

While I concur that the leaker should be prosecuted, let’s tone the bloodlust down a bit, shall we?

There are problems to be associated with these leaks, to be sure, but perhaps a little proportionality is in order.  Calling for executions and declaring Wikileaks a terrorist organization both strike me are overreactions (to put it mildly).

Update: On a related note, others just want Assange  assassinated (the guy who runs Wikileaks itself–not to be confused with the leaker).

FILED UNDER: Terrorism, US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. James Joyner says:

    Considering that we didn’t execute senior CIA and FBI officials who spied for the Russians for years, revealing information that we know for a fact got American agents killed, I’d have to concur.
    I’m not unsympathetic to the idea that a soldier who gave classified info to Assange could be guilty of treason.  But that would depend on motive and the actual consequences of the leaks, neither of which are yet known to Huckabee or myself.

  2. Flit says:

    Sir –
    Not a big fan of Huckabee, but I would counter that:
    1. Bradley Manning certainly sentenced informants to death by disseminating that information.
    2. There are elements of the first leak that compromise US military tactics, which also *may* result in American deaths. 
    3. While the second set of State leaks may simply seem embarrassing, the effects of them on international diplomacy are unknown, and potentially very damaging.
    You may call it “blood lust,” but I would say that there is a perfectly reasonable argument that capital punishment is proportional justice.

  3. I am not opposed, depending on the facts of that case, for trying the guy for treason.  But, as you note, said facts are not known to us at this time.

  4. Flit says:

    James – see #1. The Taliban has been executing informants left and right on *suspicion* they are working with Americans, or considering it. The revelation of informant names online has certainly gotten someone killed by now.

  5. wr says:

    And this is the man who identifies himself as a “Christian.” Just another bloodthirsty chestbeater, using the gospels he claims to believe as a justification for the eradication of anyone he doesn’t like. Maybe he’ll do better in the primaries than I thought…

  6. tom p says:

    Seeing as Huckabee specifically referred to the Diplomatic Doc dump I will limit my comment to that as well:
    They were embarressing to a # of people. Great, causing embarressment is now a capital crime. Love it.

  7. legion says:

    I tell you what, Huck. You can pull the switch on Manning and Assange both just as soon as we execute Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and GW Bush for exactly the same thing.

  8. Franklin says:

    Sure the leaker should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, that’s how it works.  Calling for something worse than death is just Huckabee’s way of staying “relevant”.
    Whether these diplomatic leaks get somebody killed, that could happen, and that’s a perfectly legitimate concern – I certainly wouldn’t want a family member further endangered due to these leaks.  But there could also be benefits, now that China’s hand has been tipped regarding North Korea.
    While I’m mainly worried about our service men and women, I have another concern which is that our government is going to find ways to become even less transparent in order to combat this (here goes another few billion dollars spent on encrypting communications and guarding the data).  Frankly, we need some leaks once in awhile to know what the hell is going on.

  9. John Hall says:

    And how did Huckabee feel about Cheney and Bush outing an undercover CIA agent? I don’t remember hearing him call for executions about that.

  10. sam says:

    Hell, we didn’t try anybody for treason in the aftermath of the Civil War.

  11. kassandra says:

    Pastor Huckabee, the Poster Boy for the Christian Right.  Also looks like the USG is looking for a new label for Assange, the State Dept spokesman just said that he is not a journalist.  So what new classification are they cooking up?  Enemy Combatant is already taken, so is he an Enemy NonCombatant? 
    Donate to Wikileaks!

  12. kassandra says:

    Oh Franklin, I wouldn’t worry too much about all those leaks being a cause for someone being sent up yonder.  Have you spared a thought for those hundreds of thousands that HAVE been killed because the USG lied to you and everyone else?  Maybe a few leaks then would have saved more than a few lives.

  13. seth.kroschel says:

    Word up, kassandra.  A little more information and a little less secrecy might have slowed the war drums leading up to the Iraq invasion.  And as Digby noted, those in charge seem to have no problem invading John Q. Public’s privacy.  If he’s done nothing wrong he’s got nothing to hide, right?  How does that shoe fit on the other foot?

  14. anjin-san says:

    Apparently Huckabee does not think mere red meat will satisfy the base anymore. Apparently human blood is now required.  It is instructive about the direction the right is headed in. It was not that long ago that  Bill O’Reilly was saying he had no problem with a terrorist attack on San Francisco.  Let’s reflect on that for a moment. One of the leading voices on the right pretty much said that it was ok for Bin Laden to kill children on American soil because he does not like their parents politics. Ladies and Gentleman, the American far right…

  15. Andrew says:

    “Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.” – Mark Twain

    I can think of no better words to defend Bradley Manning. He brought to light events and orchestrations being done in this country that the public needs to know. I strongly disagree with the mindless masses concept. It’s this notion of the majority being idiots that isolate power in the US. This is only perpetuated by media like FOX news classifying Glen Beck as an everyman, when he is clearly the court jester, albeit a mildly insane one. It wouldn’t be so bad if that was the only media outlet to waste time. All American “media” seems to have forgotten what news is, or how to get it.
    In short, I’m very scared about the future of the US if a site like Wikilinks is allowed to be destroyed by our warmachine.