Why Hasn't Jonah Goldberg Been Punched in the Face Yet Today?

It's a serious question. Goldberg, the author of Liberal Fascism and in-house funny-guy at the National Review, wrote a column today wondering why the CIA hasn't assassinated Wikileaks founder Julian Assange yet. What are they, lazy? Get to it, boys!

Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?

It's a serious question.

In almost every corner of the popular culture, there are people who assume incredible competence on the part of our intelligence agencies. We take it as a given that spooks can, in the immortal words of Elvis, take care of business in a flash. In the Jason Bourne movies, say the wrong word into your cell phone, and assassins will find you at the train station in minutes. In AMC's Rubicon, if you pay too close attention to crossword puzzles, your train will be "accidentally" derailed. In Three Days of the Condor, if you ask your bosses the wrong question, a postman with an ice-bullet-shooting machine gun will pay you a visit.

Oh, wait, I get it. Goldberg isn't actually, seriously, soberly advocating the extrajudicial assassination of a journalist for publishing material in contravention of a direct order from the state. He's just having fun with the discontinuity between "left-wing accounts of the intelligence community," which tend to portray spooks as hyper-efficient bloodthirsty killers, and the curious fact of Assange's continued purchase on life. See! Liberals are stupid, because they think spies are bad, but look—Assange isn't "a greasy stain on the autobahn already," so liberals are wrong, spies aren't bad, therefore liberals are stupid. Q.E.D.

As for really depriving Assange of his life without due process of law, Goldberg thinks that's just a hair over the line: "[A]ssassinating a hipster Australian Web guru as opposed to a Muslim terrorist is the kind of controversy no official dares invite. That's fine. And it's the law. Ultimately, I don't expect the U.S. government to kill Assange, but I do expect them to try to stop him." When your respect for the law keeps you from murdering people you really want to murder—well, that's true patriotism.

Anyway, this game of Jonah's is fun, so back to our opening question: Why hasn't he been punched, hard, in the face yet today? After all, he upsets liberals, and we all know that liberals are violent thugs, right? "The left" routinely justifies the "glorification of violence" and "gangsterism" of "black riot ideology" and wants to kill all white people as badly as Hitler wanted to kill all Jews. Liberals engage in a "symphony of violence" and, as Goldberg astutely points out in his book, are fascists. So how come some angry liberal hasn't decked him yet today, fascistically? Just asking. We don't think, by the way, that anyone should physically assault Goldberg. That would be illegal.

By the way, your blogger used to edit a column that Goldberg wrote long, long ago in a magazine far, far away. He liked him, even! Goldberg can be charming when he isn't talking about Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, or how people who disagree with him are Nazis.