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Article posted Dec 02 2010, 6:46 PM Category: Commentary Source: Glenn Greenwald Print

Joe Lieberman emulates Chinese dictators

Glenn Greenwald

..Talking Points Memo -- in an article headlined: "How Lieberman Got Amazon To Drop Wikileaks" -- detailed that Lieberman's "staffers . . . called Amazon to ask about it, and left questions with a press secretary including, 'Are there plans to take the site down?'"  Shortly thereafter, "Amazon called them back . . . to say they had kicked Wikileaks off."  Lieberman's spokeswoman said: "Sen. Lieberman hopes that the Amazon case will send the message to other companies that might host Wikileaks that it would be irresponsible to host the site."

That Joe Lieberman is abusing his position as Homeland Security Chairman to thuggishly dictate to private companies which websites they should and should not host -- and, more important, what you can and cannot read on the Internet -- is one of the most pernicious acts by a U.S. Senator in quite some time.   Josh Marshall wrote yesterday:  "When I'd heard that Amazon had agreed to host Wikileaks I was frankly surprised given all the fish a big corporation like Amazon has to fry with the federal government."  That's true of all large corporations that own media outlets -- every one -- and that is one big reason why they're so servile to U.S. Government interests and easily manipulated by those in political power.  That's precisely the dynamic Lieberman was exploiting with his menacing little phone call to Amazon (in essence:  Hi, this is the Senate's Homeland Security Committee calling; you're going to be taking down that WikiLeaks site right away, right?).  Amazon, of course, did what they were told.

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