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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14838/a-public-service-message/

A Public Service Message

December 1, 2010 by

I’ll have more to say on the whole Wikileaks thing later, but I’m a little disturbed by the reaction I’ve seen by some libertarians to one developing aspect of the story. The London Guardian reported:

The United States struck its first blow against WikiLeaks after Amazon.com pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in an apparent reaction to heavy political pressure.

The main website and a sub-site devoted to the diplomatic documents were unavailable from the US and Europe on Wednesday, as Amazon servers refused to acknowledge requests for data.

The plug was pulled as the influential senator and chairman of the homeland security committee, Joe Lieberman, called for a boycott of the site by US companies.

“[Amazon's] decision to cut off WikiLeaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies WikiLeaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material,” he said.

In response, I’ve seen a few libertarians who are now calling for their own boycott of Amazon — ”I won’t be shopping there this holiday season,” etc. — to protest the company’s capitulation. I’m sorry, but that’s childish and stupid. First of all, you’re adopting the very tactics the state used against Amazon. Second, what you’re basically saying is that you’re going to let statists like Joe Lieberman decide where you will and won’t shop. That’s asinine. Third, it’s one thing to boycott a firm that actively colludes with the state or, say, lobbies for political favors; Amazon was a victim here, not a belligerent.

Given that you have prominent political and media personalities demanding the outright murder of Wikileaks officials, I think it’s a reasonable act of self-preservation for Amazon to heed these threats. I’m normally the first to criticize companies that fail to stand up to bullying by government regulators. But for the moment, this is a much different, and much more volatile, situation. The anti-Wikileaks forces are led by mentally and emotionally unbalanced animals. Right now they are capable of anything. Amazon is under no ethical duty to stick their necks out in this context.

But back to my original point. While everyone has to decide for themselves where and when to “boycott” a company, I respectfully suggest a policy of punishing those firms that yield to state pressure does nothing to advance the cause of liberty. I know of many small businesses that were forced to sign “consent orders” at gunpoint. Would it be ethical to boycott these mom-and-pop stores as well to send a message to the aggressors? I think not. And I think that applies even to large, successful businesses like Amazon.

{ 61 comments }

Sam December 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

“I respectfully suggest a policy of punishing those firms that yield to state pressure does nothing to advance the cause of liberty.”

I’m sure you were right there in the Third Reich advocating the same policy right along the road to Treblinka.

nate-m December 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm

You don’t like to think much, do you?

Sam December 2, 2010 at 7:12 am

What an insightful and intelligent comment, you have convinced me otherwise.

nate-m December 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm

It was no different then the tone you offered. If you want to have a intelligent conversation don’t start off by being a dummy.

Artisan December 2, 2010 at 2:53 am

Delation is not what was meant here… but saving your own life. And that’s a duty without which individual freedom wouldn’t have much sense, would it.

J. Murray December 2, 2010 at 7:42 am

This is more closely resembling the Soviet infantryman who has no choice but press forth into the advancing enemy because a retreat would result in being mowed down by machine gunners on his own side.

Cos December 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm

You sure know the subject, Mr. Murray. The comment, while having a certain degree of competence in it, brings about a sheer and wrongful stereotypical conclusion.

augusto December 2, 2010 at 7:46 am

It’s one thing to yield to state pressure. it’s something else entirely to collaborate with the state.

nate-m December 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Well duh.

Government controls the businesses by aligning itself with some and controlling others. In the USA they’ve managed to create a popular fantasy that somehow your liberties are different or special when compared to the liberties of people that run and operate businesses, and thus are able garner some popular support for the destruction of those liberties and (more importantly) people’s indifference to virtual enslavement.

A glaring example of this is the popular reactions to the Supreme Court decision of “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” claiming that getting rid of rules that criminalizing free speech is akin to saying that corporations are people. It’s just utterly bizarre that people don’t naturally think of companies are simply organizations that are made up of groups of people and that those groups of people have individual rights. That sort of thought is totally alien to most young people today.

Seeing how a significant portion in the popular culture have no qualms about criminalizing political speech because it does not oppress a entity that they identify with I don’t know how people think that individual companies like Amazon can hope to exist after resisting a juggernaut like the USA Federal government. Resisting is some serious shit here… it means you loose your job, your respect, your carrier is ruined, your personal life destroyed, and your ability to exist as a free person is put in major jeopardy. The way the law is rigged now it’s virtually impossible to run a large company without violating several felonies on a regular basis and if you piss off somebody with political power your utterly fucked.

Look at what happened with Martha Stewart, for example. She did not do anything illegal with her money or taxes or anything like that. She was simply scared that somewhere she did something wrong and made the mistake of lying about doing something that was perfectly legal. And you know what happened to her…. she went to jail for months for misrepresenting a legal action! And in reality, we all know, it she was merely a victim of a government nobody that simply enjoyed the spotlight. He put her away for the sole purpose of making himself look good.

Could you imagine what would happen to you if you garnered the personal ire of somebody like Obama or any of his cronies? Given his dubious history and his successful domination of one of the most corrupt government institutions in all of history (aka Chicago) and him being the first president to authorize the legal assassination of USA citizens… what do you suppose he would be willing to do to you if you pissed him off?

And lets not forget the moral and ethical obligations that people have to their employers and management has to their investors. You may disagree with the legalities and contrived nature of limited liability corporations or class D corporations, but you have to understand the idea of people paying you to do a good job, to run their property with care while following their rules and your contractual obligations.

I know that were I work the contracts I sign and the agreements I’ve made make it explicitly clear that I cannot do anything against the law and I must comply with any legal requirements that the company may fall under. It sucks, but it’s a requirement to exist in the world today.

The world is governed by the overwhelming use of force. And it’s certainly overwhelming. If you ever have been subject to a investigation or thrown in jail you can attest to how little respect and care you will receive at the hands of these people on the best of days. I know I’ve been in places were the law enforcement are not beyond making inconvenient people ‘disappear’. Certainly the Federal government makes that all pale in comparison to the force that they can wield. I am sure that they won’t murder anybody that is not directly involved in Wikileaks, but they can certainly destroy a man’s liberty on the most trivial of trespass.

These people are dangerous. They are violent, corrupt, and believe in everything they do is absolutely morally justifiable.

Cos December 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm

“…I cannot do anything against the law and I must comply with any legal requirements that the company may fall under”
I want to point out that according to the widely believed sequence of events (or at least what is widely known at the moment) Amazon hasn’t compiled with a legal requirement. It simply ducked to the pressure from an office of a corrupt politician. Was there a court order issued mandating Amazon to terminate aforementioned service? Was Wikileaks convicted yet in any sort of wrongdoing? I think the answers for both are negative.

In a not-that-much-imaginary situation when someone from a power-office – say, FBI will drop a call to Mr. Bezos seeking a favor to access account’s details of Nate-m, who happened to be an Amazon customer. Are you willing to take chances in this case? Perhaps, if you haven’t done anything wrong you then shouldn’t have nothing to hide?

This is pretty slippery slope as far as I can see. Today this is a disrespect to 1st amendment and legal due process. What’s gonna be tomorrow?

Bruce Koerber December 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm

“Truth Is Treason In The Empire Of Lies.”

This is a famous quote of Ron Paul.

With the uproar by the media pawns and their overlords all about the WikiLeaks there is a cacophony of catcalls loudly proclaiming ‘treason’ and directing them at WikiLeaks and its founder.

No one is denying the truth of what was revealed, only that the truth is treasonous – you finish it – “in the empire of lies!!!”

astrology December 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm

whether the leaks benefit or harm the u.s. should be america’s only concern. whether a state needs an intelligence service is a no-brainer.

bionic mosquito December 1, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Who is this “america” you speak of? Do you have a picture? Is he blond with blue eyes? Please describe him. In any case, it is nice of america to be concerned about the benefit or harm to u.s. from these leaks. Perhaps he could use a good plumber.

And what about the “needs” of “america’s” friend, “state”. Is “state” a male, or female? Can you please describe state’s needs. Perhaps I can offer some assistance. What is state’s address? I will send a care package.

Further, I am confused: how would an intelligent service have no brains?

Thank you in advance for your consideration in these matters. I look forward to your further thoughtful reply.

nate-m December 1, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Personally I think leaks benefit.

What I would like to see is somebody leak on how controlled this leak is.

Brad Spangler December 2, 2010 at 12:34 am

re: “…you’re adopting the very tactics the state used against Amazon.”

I’d advise you to think that statement through a little more carefully so you can either retract it or at least revise and extend the remark with a very lengthy explanation — because right now, it’s looking like you’re equating voluntary consumer choices with statist coercion, which we all know is a praxeologically untenable position. If not, they might as well have Harry “taxes are voluntary” Reid blogging on Mises.org.

Gil December 2, 2010 at 12:45 am

I s’pose this fellow is saying something along the lines “public coercion is bad and so is private coercion”. Or “there’s no such thing as ‘voluntary statism’ as it is based on coercion”. Or “when people voluntary side with the government then they cease to be private actors”.

nate-m December 2, 2010 at 12:59 am

Probably more along the lines is that it makes everybody look ignorant to rail on Amazon and blaming them for capitulating.

This is along the same lines as ‘Boycott France!’ with ‘Freedom Fries’ and such things. It’s like a running joke for most people. It only makes people shake their heads when they see people calling for boycotts most of the time. Especially when its for things that companies have no control over. People might as well be threatening the CEO of Amazon with physical violence for being ‘un-American’ for all the good it does.

I think it has less to do with ‘coercion’ then “don’t look like a jackass”.

I wouldn’t blame anybody for wanting to avoid Amazon for this if they felt like it. But if they want to be intellectually honest they are going to have to boycott ALL american corporations, big and small, because they are all exactly in the same boat and would of probably done the exact same thing if put in that position.

Brad Spangler December 2, 2010 at 1:07 am

Yeah, okay, if you all are just too cool to bother trying that’s fine. Just don’t make matters even worse by couching that reluctance in terms that make it sound like a matter of libertarian principle. We’ve got enough malicious disinfo floating around out there about libertarianism without generating our own.

nate-m December 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

It’s nothing about ‘being to cool’. It’s about not looking like a idiot.

To boycott Amazon because they did something wrong is stupid when they don’t have any choice in the matter. If you want to convince people that your position is correct you cannot go around representing yourself as a libertarian on one hand and being petty and vindictive on another. It just does not mesh.

S.M. Oliva December 2, 2010 at 6:59 am

I will neither retract nor revise my position.

Stephan Kinsella December 2, 2010 at 7:49 am

Your key point which I really appreciate is this: “Amazon was a victim here, not a belligerent” and “a policy of punishing those firms that yield to state pressure does nothing to advance the cause of liberty”. Certain people have such a hatred of “corporations” that I suppose they can never view them as innocent or victims. But in my view they are, in this case, and we should never add injury to injury.

Bala December 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

And why should you? You make perfect sense.

Beefcake the Mighty December 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

Basically, the left-libertarians are bitching that amazon doesn’t have the balls to tell the state to piss off. I would suggest that before they cast stones, that THEY go out and do some serious in-your-face protesting against The Man. The results should be very interesting.

Daniel Hewitt December 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

Does smashing windows and looting stores – destroying private property in general – at G20 meetings count? :)

J. Murray December 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

Precisely. Amazon has their employees and their employees’ families to consider in all of this. If it was just one guy, it would be easier to stand up in the face of The Man. But when your own actions can take down a thousand other people who don’t want anything to do with it, that stand becomes less brave and heroic and more idiotic and ill-advised.

Capt Mike December 2, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Geez, Not to mention their stockholders

Glenn December 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Qwest refused to participate in the NSA wiretap program. In retaliation they were not awarded a government contract.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwest, topic “Refusal for NSA spying”

Google refused to hand over search information.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4731640.stm
No effect on Google. ACLU backed ‘em up too.

Amazon, as far as I know, doesn’t have lucrative Government contracts to lose. The gov. can’t legally touch them if they are within the law, and they have no leverage beyond internet sales tax legislation.

I doubt the government had any real affect on Amazon’s decision. I think they were far more worried about a consumer backlash hurting their retail sales right before Xmas from the percentage of the public that wants to see Assange assasinated. Leiberman is just puffing himself up over a decision that he had nothing to do with.

I’m not sure a boycott would be widespread enough to have any real effect, but certainly don’t think the idea of boycotting Amazon is “childish and stupid”. If Amazon had gone along with something clearly illegal, like wiretapping millions of US citizens, then they should be boycotted and taken to court (as should all the telcos that complied with the illegal NSA wiretapping). As it is, they just weaseled out to avoid bad PR and sell more “Tickle Me Elmos”.

If you find that is enough of a reason to boycott them, I won’t be calling you “childish and stupid”.

Brad Spangler December 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

I don’t know what the heck you folks replying to Skip are even talking about. I, personally haven’t even made up my mind about an Amazon boycott. I was raising a much more narrow point about libertarian principle that jumped out at me from Skip’s remarks. He has refused my request but offered no counter-rationale that addresses my actual point, so there doesn’t seem much to talk about with regard to my original point.

BUT…

What the heck is wrong with you people that you have to insist on having the argument you want to have with the imaginary opponent you presume exists rather than actually addressing the points someone raises? I wouldn’t mind discussing the different views on this issue, but frankly it scares me that you freaks can’t perceive what I was saying and are instead emotionally compelled to rebut an argument I wasn’t even making.

Beefcake the Mighty December 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

” He has refused my request but offered no counter-rationale that addresses my actual point”

Maybe he just doesn’t give two shits about what you think. And who could blame him?

Brad Spangler December 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Libertarians.

AllisonH December 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

Spangler is right. This was the first thing that jumped out at me when I read this post. And in response to the replies, I think there is a big difference between public and private “coercion.” There is nothing bad about the latter when you use the term to represent the conscious choice we make everyday not to transact with certain entities.

Kinsella makes a good point, but there are varying levels of capitulation, and companies and people shouldn’t get a automatic free pass just because the government put a little pressure on them. For example, a cellular company could require subpoenas and resist any government request for information, or they could make it very easy for the government to gain access. Or an organization could come out and say, “we don’t agree with what we are being made to do,” or they could actively seek ways to help the government in exchange for favorable treatment.

I think the majority of boycotts are ineffective, especially on an individual level against giant corporations. And from what I know, Amazon doesn’t seem like a real bad actor here. So, I think calling for a boycott under these circumstances is silly and pointless. But I wouldn’t go so far as to equate a personal choice not to transact with a company or individual who acted in a way we don’t like, with government threats backed up with violence. Certainly, Amazon knew that it had a lot more to worry about than U.S. companies refusing to do business with it. I doubt that a plea from Lieberman would have made any company refuse to transact with Amazon out of principle if it would be more expensive to transact elsewhere. The real threat Amazon, and the companies pressured to “boycott” Amazon, are reacting to is retribution in the form of unfavorable regulations and laws and everything else truly coercive that the government has at its disposal.

If the libertarian cry in response was to vote in legislators that would pass regulations that would hurt Amazon as a way to retaliate against Amazon’s anti-freedom policies, then we would be using the same tactics. But to say that withdrawing our economic “vote” is akin to what the government is really doing here is just wrong.

Anonymous December 2, 2010 at 1:13 am

I noticed a major error in that article by the Guardian. The Guardian writes:

“Lieberman, though an independent, is a former Republican who switched to the Democrats last year.”

This is certainly not the case. Lieberman was never a Republican. He was Al Gore’s running mate and has always been a Democrat. He is only an “independent” because he ran as a “sore loser” candidate in 2006 after he lost the Democrat primary.

I certainly don’t advocate boycotting Amazon. The fact that they were hosting Wikileaks in the first place indicates that they do not really believe in what they are being forced to do by the government. Amazon has done a much better job than most companies of standing on principle (for example, pulling out of states that try to force them to collect taxes and making it easy to “evade” sales taxes). The opponents of Wikileaks are a bunch of psychos who have no problem with denial of service attacks against Wikileaks and even support assassinations to carry out their hysterical crusade. It is not reasonable to ask businesses to stick their neck out and make themselves a target of the violent sociopaths who hate Wikileaks.

Another thing I think is disturbing is that Interpol, that infamous fascist organization (which was a Nazi puppet during WWII) has put out a “red notice” on Julian Assange for those bogus accusations against him in the People’s Republic of Sweden.

We aren’t going to win on this issue by boycotting Amazon. Amazon would prefer being alive and losing the business of the most sectarian elements of the libertarian movement to being murdered for assisting Wikileaks.

smw December 2, 2010 at 1:48 am

Maybe they (the Guardian) were thinking of Arlen Specter?

Beefcake the Mighty December 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

Actually Lieberman is a life-long Likudnik, his formal membership in various US political parties notwithstanding.

Favfly December 2, 2010 at 7:00 am

Would that boycotting the government was as easy as boycotting a private company.

I agree with the article in entirety. Indeed, further to it, is there anything stopping Amazon’s would-be boycotters setting up servers of their own to help Wikileaks? If not, then wouldn’t this be a more constructive, and potentially profitable, approach to the situation?

J. Murray December 2, 2010 at 7:44 am

We should turn the favorite phrase of the Department of Homeland Security back onto them, “If you didn’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about if we look.”

Fephisto December 2, 2010 at 8:23 am

Yeah right.

Even though there were a lot of companies helping out Nazi Germany, I don’t think I’d have any moral qualms against boycotting companies that hypothetically helped to stop Schindler.

Similarly, I don’t think I have any qualms against people boycotting companies that try to stop Assange.

Daniel Hewitt December 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

Good post Skip. Somehow Amazon managed to win the favor on both sides of the debate.

Here is Glenn Greenwald:
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/01/lieberman

…..and Amazon was lavished with praise on the conservative talk radio show I listened to this morning for “having the guts to dump WikiLeaks”!

Marcus December 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

S.M. Oliva is correct in his assessment (and Kinsella in his agreement). The protoanarchists above who disagree are missing something key. Through Oliva’s work he has known many companies that were compelled to subject themselves to the government; to be explicit, he has personally worked with multiple companies ranging from the huge (Rambus) to the tiny (physicians’ private practices). Therefore I think he sees, crystal clear, that there are times when a company has no choice but to capitulate, for to stand firm on principle would result in death.

Stephan Kinsella December 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

More support for Skip’s contention: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/01/lieberman

Unfortunately the folks at Antiwar.com are piling on Amazon, the victim: http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2010/12/01/boycott-amazon-com/

Eric Garris December 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

I totally understand why Amazon would make that decision, and they certainly have a right to terminate their business relationship with WikiLeaks.

However, they displayed unethical business practices when they pulled their servers without any notice. If WikiLeaks wanted to terminate their contract with Amazon, they would have been required to give 30 days notice. Amazon gave NO NOTICE, not even an hour. When WikiLeaks site went down, at first they didn’t even know why since Amazon made no communication attempt.

Being victimized is no justification for victimizing someone else.

Beefcake the Mighty December 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm

How much notice was amazon obligated to provide?

Inquisitor December 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm

And required by whom, anyway?

Stephan Kinsella December 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

by libertarian activists and High Inquisitors, apparently.

Glenn December 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I would say more than no notice at all. Eric didn’t say “illegal” business practices. Personally I wouldn’t say it was unethical, just bad business. If you engage in a contract for a service, and your service is canceled for no legitimate reason (does not run afoul of the business conduct agreement with Amazon), it is reasonable to expect some communication, as well as some time so you can make other arrangements.
Who will trust Amazon web services with their data if this is how they solve disputes with customers? Some business use them extensively. I would be a bit nervous if I used them for anything business critical after hearing about this. A pseudo-apologetic email and a couple additional hours of service would make all the difference.

Gil December 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

I disagree (and I read both your links).

S. Oliva wrote:

“I respectfully suggest a policy of punishing those firms that yield to state pressure does nothing to advance the cause of liberty.”

Really? Don’t punish cowards? What happened to the “those who value safety over freedom deserve neither”? Why shouldn’t Libertarians turn their back on a private entity that won’t stand to encroaching government?

After all, what would have happened to Amazon.com had they replied “screw you”? Would it be declared a terrorist organisation, shut down and the many of the top employees sent to an offshore detention for an indefinite amount of time for interrogation or what?

J. Murray December 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

There is existing precidence that this current administration can and will nationalize anything it sees fit. Ask the GM bondholders if their “screw you” led to anything beyond a total confiscation of their property.

Colin Patrick Barth December 2, 2010 at 11:35 am

When Amazon are indeed held at gunpoint—or, if we are being less characteristically dramatic, a court order—they will indeed be the victim. However, it has clearly been reported that they were never served with any kind of legal papers. In fact, they received an inquiry from Lieberman’s staffers. On this basis, they apparently _anticipated_ how best to be of service to Joe Lieberman et al., and presumably _anticipated_ that the association with WikiLeaks could make trouble for them down the road. This is a major multinational corporation folding like a bad hand of poker—not even waiting to see whether DHS could produce a court order, or even put a request in writing! And yet, you’re acting like this is some kind of black-and-white, life or death, coercive State vs. producer/victim thought experiment (complete with war metaphors!). It’s nothing of the sort. It’s an opportunity for paying customers to show Amazon—a corporation that apparently has the idea that collaboration with a police state’s self-appointed spokesman’s inclinations is the best for its bottom line—that there is a cost for playing toady, and an opportunity to regain business by changing.

JAlanKatz December 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

Sigh. Those who wish to pile on Amazon need to answer one question – what are they doing for Wikileaks? If Amazon is wrong for not providing server space, surely you are more wrong for never having provided server space at all. Amazon cannot become the villain by trying to help.

Joshua_D December 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Talk about everyone throwing out their moral view into the conversation. It seems that most people here think that ‘life is fair’ and are arguing as such. Life isn’t fair. People get to choose. They get to choose to dump a website, and others get to choose to dump a business. Still others get to choose to support the business. And others can choose to host the website. This post is a good reminder of people’s intrinsic desire to control the actions of other people and get real mad when other people don’t behave ‘properly.’

Marcus December 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

To those who chose not to understand the original “held at gunpoint” reference, please note that the demise of a corporation is its “death.”

Jerith December 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Even though some parts of Wikileaks is unavailable, there are other websites like the CBC who are compiling their own database of the releases. Any idea if Goggle Cache will already have it too?

Artisan December 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Just now the famous French ex-soccer player Cantona is advertising a boycott on banking accounts :
http://www.bankrun2010.com/

Capt Mike December 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Hey,
Take a deep breath and give Amazon a break here. An action taken with a gun at the temple cannot be judged as if the gun didn’t exist.

Among other things, Amazon is a PUBLICLY HELD CORPORATION. With that designation go some pretty darn strict laws and ethical obligations.

To continually defy the fascist bastards would have LOOKED noble, but would have been a betrayal of its stockholders, who include Granny’s pension plan.

Stop blaming the victim.

Walt D. December 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm

This is actually going to turn out to be a good thing. In response to charges of “digital piracy’”, Homeland Security was able to immediately shutdown a few sites. However, this Phoenix is already rising from the ashes. What is more, they will be using a new architecture that prevents someone essentially doing the digital equivalent of walking in and pulling the plug. This model will make censorship much more difficult. I imagine that it will not be long before Wikileaks resurfaces on a distributed domain site. It is also ironic that Joe Lieberman, an orthodox Jew, is able to pull a page out of Joseph Goebbels play book, and shut down a site he does not like with a single phone call, without due process.

niku December 3, 2010 at 8:52 am

At least, Amazon could have asked the Senator to publicly voice his concerns.

niku December 3, 2010 at 8:54 am

… before dropping Wikileaks.

Greg December 3, 2010 at 11:10 am

What exactly was Amazon threatened with here? I don’t see any kind of court order or anything of the sort. I see a single senator making a generalized call to boycott Wikileaks. Amazon is apparently eager to please our overlords in Washington. Maybe Wikileaks will leak threats that were privately made to Amazon.

Glenn December 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I think they were, in their “head”, threatened with a Leiberman press conference, some rhetoric, a “grassroots” call for a boycott against Amazon helpfully reported on every 30min on Fox News, hyped by Limbough and Palin, and carried out by “dittoheads” and palinites right at the busiest retail shopping spree of the year. So basically I think they were afraid to lose consumer business.

Graham Shevlin December 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Well, they just lost my business, and I have bought a lot of stuff from them over the years. I guess they will just have to make up the lost business from non-authoritarians with purchases from all of those new dittoheads flooding the site to show their gratitude…

Vanmind December 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Yeah, I’ve noticed similar things about the otherwise logical boycott/divestment campaign against the apartheid regime in a certain criminal state overseas. Too many people now say that “we” need to “go farther” by boycotting any company that does any business whatsoever in that state or in the territories that the state terrorizes and pretends to control — even though starving out everyone in the region would hardly be a solution to the attempts by socialist criminals there to starve out targets of their hateful bigotry.

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