In August 2009, I wrote a piece titled Fascist America: Are We There Yet? that sparked much discussion on both the left and right ends of the blogosphere. In it, I argued that — according to the best scholarship on how fascist regimes emerge — America was on a path that was running much too close to the fail-safe point beyond which no previous democracy has ever been able to turn back from a full-on fascist state. I also noted that the then-emerging Tea Party had a lot of proto-fascist hallmarks, and that it had the potential to become a clear and present danger to the future of our democracy if it ever got enough traction to start winning elections in a big way.
On the first anniversary of that article, Jonah Goldberg — the right’s revisionist-in-chief on the subject of fascism — actually used an entire National Review column to taunt me about what he characterized as a failure of prediction. Where’s that fascist state you promised? he hooted.
It’s funny he should ask. Because this coming election may, in fact, be a critical turning point on that road.
LONDON — Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, and Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, lashed out together on Saturday at the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of whistle-blowers, including those responsible for the release of secret documents on the Iraq war.
Mr. Assange also said that WikiLeaks, which released the trove of almost 400,000 Iraq war documents on Friday, would shortly be posting an additional 15,000 remaining secret documents on the Afghan war.
Mr. Assange, speaking at a news conference in a London hotel a stone’s throw from the headquarters of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6, was joined by Mr. Ellsberg, 79, the former military analyst who leaked a 1,000-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971 that became known as the Pentagon Papers.
Mr. Ellsberg, who said he had flown overnight from California to attend, described Mr. Assange admiringly as “the most dangerous man in the world” for challenging governments, particularly the United States. He said the WikiLeaks founder had been “pursued across three continents” by Western intelligence services and compared the Obama administration’s threat to prosecute Mr. Assange to his own treatment under President Richard M. Nixon.
DEMOCRACY NOW INTERVIEW: Pentagon Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Upcoming Iraq War Wikileaks Docs (October 22nd) (Part 1 of 2)
(Part 2 of 2):