Long before throwing her hat in the 2020 ring, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has given us a lot of reasons to question her moral compass.
The Hawaii Democrat has gotten a bit too close for comfort with Syria’s thuggish president, Bashar al-Assad. She balked at signing a letter denouncing the appointment of Steve Bannon as Donald Trump’s chief strategist. She has longstanding ties with violent Hindu nationalists in India. She echoed the right-wing talking point that Barack Obama didn’t have the guts to say “radical Islamic terrorism.”
But Gabbard appeared to have really outdone herself last month when she claimed that both Democrats and Republicans shared responsibility for the shutdown. No, this isn’t snark. Watch her say it on CNN’s “State of the Union” here.
Um, Tulsi? Did you not watch Trump declare that he was going to shut down the government if Congress didn’t give him over $5 billion for a wall along the southern border–and that he would take responsibility? And did you pay attention while the Democrats offered numerous proposals to reopen the government–only to see them not even get a vote in the Senate after passing the House?
But Gabbard may have sunk even lower than that on Saturday night. While at a campaign meet-and-greet in Concord, New Hampshire, Gabbard fielded a question about WikiLeaks. Watch her response here.
Gabbard said that WikiLeaks has brought to light “a lot of things that the American people were not aware of.” She argued that information has “spurred necessary change.”
One has to wonder if Tulsi has been paying attention. Any “necessary change” that Julian Assange and friends have brought about came at a very high price–the privacy of innocent third parties. WikiLeaks has demonstrated that it has no qualms about posting unredacted Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers.
We all know by now that when WikiLeaks posted hacked Democratic National Committee emails, it included the credit card numbers and Social Security numbers of several innocent Democratic donors–thus exposing them to identity theft. Two of the victims have sued the Trump campaign for working closely with WikiLeaks in order to use that information to its advantage.
However, Assange’s disregard for privacy has been evident as early as 2010, when The New Yorker reported–in a colossal understatement–that Assange “does recognize the limits that traditional publishers do.” By then, Assange had posted the unredacted Social Security numbers of several soldiers, and also hacked into Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo! Mail account. Even then, Assange openly admitted that releasing such information risked “collateral damage.”
No cause is ever so important that basic standards of decency must be thrown out the window. The public’s right to know should never, ever, ever, ever be so important that we must stoop to invading people’s privacy and exposing them to identity theft.
With this statement, Gabbard absolutely, positively disqualified herself from holding office at any level. Anyone who believes “necessary change” is worth putting innocent third parties in danger is morally unfit for office. Period, full stop.
Gabbard may very well pay the ultimate political price for her many moral blind spots. She could potentially face a primary challenge in Hawaii’s 2nd district, a ridiculously Democratic area covering all of Hawaii outside of inner Honolulu. State senator Kai Kahele is already in the race, and would face Gabbard in the very likely event she doesn’t win the presidential nomination. The people of this district deserve to be represented by someone who does not have so many moral blind spots.
Do us all a favor, Tulsi. Don’t just get out of the presidential race. Give up any plans to run for reelection to Congress. If you believe that “necessary change” even remotely justifies identity theft, you are not fit to clean the House, let alone serve in it.
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