Monday, August 11, 2008

Faux libertarians throw rocks at Gravel

Suppose you knew that a man was a thug, responsible for the abduction of at least one, perhaps many, innocents. And suppose you publicly advocated calling attention to this man's evil deeds -- following him around, denouncing him, mocking him, urging civil society to shun him, and agitating for his removal from a position of authority which he has abused.

Most libertarians would not only defend your right to engage in such public advocacy, but laud you for seeking redress versus the thug in that manner rather than invoking the same kind of force with which the thug has previously achieved his goals.

But if your name is Mike Gravel, and if the thug in question is Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg, and if his best-known victim is an Arab, the "Libertarian" "Defense" Caucus will describe your advocacy as "beyond the pale, certainly unlibertarian and possibly illegal."

It's difficult not to think of that "beyond the pale" as a bit of a Freudian slip, pales being political districts beyond or into which disapproved groups were forbidden to travel. The "Libertarian" "Defense" Caucus has created its own pale -- a conceptual rather than geographical one, true, but its obvious purpose is the same as that of Imperial Russia's Pale of Settlement: To isolate members of a particular Semitic ethnic group for purposes of persecution and pogrom.

The "Libertarian" "Defense" Caucus is neither libertarian nor supportive of defense. They're an authoritarian pro-aggression cabal (fortunately a relatively insignificant one) dedicated to false advertising in support of the managerial warfare state. Whatever his faults (and yes, he has some big ones) Senator Gravel is more libertarian on his worst day than this organization is on its best.

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