In an MSNBC interview last week, WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange responded to Florida resident and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s call for the execution of whoever leaked hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to the whistleblower website. Assange called Huckabee “just another idiot trying to make a name for himself.”
As I reported a month ago, Huckabee — widely expected to run for president in 2012 — told a reporter that whoever leaked the diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks is “guilty of treason,” adding: “Anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”
“They’ve put American lives at risk,” Huckabee said, continuing:
They’ve put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk, and they knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents, they were entrusted and anyone who had access to that level of information was not only a person who understood what their rules were, but they also signed under oath a commitment that they would not violate it. They did. And I believe they have committed treason against this country, and any lives they endanger, they’re personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands.
In the MSNBC interview conducted last Wednesday, host Dylan Ratigan Cenk Uygur asked Assange about Huckabee’s words, incorrectly suggesting that the former governor was calling for Assange himself — rather than the leaker — to be executed.
“Oh, he’s just another idiot trying to make a name for himself,” Assange said when asked to respond to Huckabee, adding:
If we are to have a civil society, you cannot have senior people making calls on national TV to go around the judiciary and illegally murder people. That is incitement to commit murder. That is an offense. You cannot have senior people on national TV asking people to commit an offense.
That is not a country that obeys the rule of law. Does the United States obey the rule of law? Because Europeans are starting to wonder whether it is still obeying the rule of law, and it needs to be very careful. Is it going to descend into anarchy, where we don’t have due process? Where those great Bill of Rights traditions of our due process are just thrown to the wind whenever some shock-jock politicians thinks that they can use it to make a name for themselves?
Or, do we take things according to laws, expressly made by the people and their representatives? That is the way things should be done. And when people call for illegal, deliberate assassination and kidnapping of others they should be held to account. They should be charged for incitement to commit murder.
Assange’s comments on Huckabee, et al. begin around the 9:20 mark: