Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Treason is punishable by death, you liberal

And if you forgot that fact, a number of barely coherent people with dubious critical-thinking skills are happy to remind you.

The story began when USA Today founder Al Neuharth, a World War II veteran, wrote in a Dec. 22 column that the best way for the U.S. government to support the troops would be to bring them home from Iraq "sooner rather than later." Editor & Publisher published a brief mention of the column shortly thereafter.

Then, as often happens, the Internet got involved. The column and the E&P piece traveled quickly through the blogosphere and prompted a huge number of responses, particularly from Iraq war proponents. I'm sure many of them were rational, but a good number were downright scary. E&P Editor Greg Mitchell shared a few of the most sickening ones in his column today.

How disturbing are the thought patterns of the letter writers, you ask? One resorted to the hackneyed accusation that Neuharth is "un-American," while another suggested that liberals supported World War II because their goal was not to defeat Germany and Japan but to protect communism. An Iowan, meanwhile, noted astutely that because of Neuharth, "the terrorists are probably booking their flights to the U.S. now!" Oh, and they're going to bomb McDonald's. Maybe the mall, too.

At least four respondents accused Neuharth and/or Mitchell of treason, including the hands-down overreaction winner, who predicted, "The Patriot Act will put both of you on trial for treason and convict and execute both of you for running these stories in a time of war and it should be done on TV for other communist traitors like you two to know we mean business." The writer, always gracious in victory, went on to say, "We won the election and now you are mad. We own America and all the rights, you people are trash, go back to Russia and Africa and take your friends with (sic) before we put you on death row after a fair trial."

Well, at least they'd get a fair trial before they were slaughtered for daring to disagree with some random dude. After all, he wouldn't want to be unreasonable.


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