Saturday, August 27, 2005

Robertson is an idiot, and so is John Dean

A good friend of mine e-mailed me this article by John Dean, a lawyer who was famously implicated in the Watergate scandal. The title says it all:
Was Pat Robertson's Call For Assassination Of A Foreign Leader A Crime?
Had He Been a Democrat, He'd Probably Be Hiring A Criminal Attorney
As has been widely noted in the Bush-supporting blogosphere (see here, here and here) Pat Robertson is an annoying idiot, who regularly makes dumb remarks. But then again, so is John Dean (and Hugo Chavez). The whole article is a ridiculous attempt to claim that Robertson's statement was an actual threat and that therefore he should be prosecuted under the applicable legislation.
The text of this misdemeanor statute plainly applies: No one can doubt that Robertson "attempted" to threaten President Chavez.
First, Robertson said he wanted to assassinate President Chavez. His threat to "take him out," especially when combined with the explanation that this would be cheaper than war, was clearly a threat to kill.
Robertson has Christian soldiers everywhere. Who knows what some misguided missionary might do?
I don't think Robertson was threatening Chavez, and he certainly did not say he wanted to assasinate him - his implication clearly was that the US government should do so. And when is the last time you heard of one of Robertson's "Chrisitian soldiers" assasinating, or even hurting anyone? Did John Dean get all upset when this happened? Or this?
At any rate, Robertson has apologised, the Bush administration has clearly distanced itself from the comments and so have various evangelical Christian organizations. Also see Alenda Lux who argues that Robertson is less influential than people think.

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