The trial was over and the only question remaining was if the scoundrel deserved the death penalty.
"Fry him," an editorialist advised, and won a journalism award.
It's the American way of death. Vengeance is ours, saith Amerika, and sometimes the blood lust runs a bit hotter than usual.
This is one of those times.
What else to expect when you have a president who, hoping to prove that he can be even more bad-ass macho than his predecessor, anointed himself with the authority to order the assassination of American citizens without judicial process?
Each time WikiLeaks turns over a new batch of real documents verifying what many of us already suspected about United States policy that frequently amounts to criminality and worse, the "fry him" chorus grows louder. The antecedent of "him" being Julian Assange, an Australian who created the website called WikiLeaks, and various individuals who in some way or other abetted his acquisition of the materials.
Aside from its barbarism, the blood lust is bizarre because United States laws defining treason apply only to United States citizens, which Assange is not. But that's a quibble the fry-him crowd ignores.
The previous batch of WikiLeaks documents, released in October, prompted the eminent moralist, Jonah Goldberg of National Reivew, to wonder publicly why Assange was still alive. Surely some patriotic Amerikan should have assassinated him long ago.
Bing West renewed the Journal's blood lust after the latest WikiLeaks dump, this time of diplomatic cables. "Whoever provided the material to WikiLeaks should be prosecuted under the death sentence, regardless of his of her alleged motivations or mental worries," West wrote. I haven't completely deciphered the code in that last clause, but the main message is clear. Fry them.
My favorite voice in the killer choir is Machine-Gun Mama Palin, former governor of Alaska. We should go after Assange, she says, with "the same urgency" we pursue al Qaeda.
The truth really hurts these people. Or perhaps it's just a sort of menopausal bitch by a woman who misses her favorite perk as governor: gunning down wolves from helicopters, then posing with their bloody carcasses. Because of the crop of the photograph, it's hard to tell for sure if the bright-eyed glint in her eye is post-orgasmic.
The chorus is also eager to hang or fry or otherwise terminate a 19-year-old Somali student who is a naturalized citizen and was set up as a terrorist by the FBI in a monumentally clumsy sting operation on the West Coast.
"Shooting's too good for him," a Tea Tweeter twitted. By "good" I presume the twitterer meant "humane." Indeed, another Foxie, Mike Huckabee, don't want no humane justice in his Amerika. "Anything less than execution is too kind a penalty," he told an interviewer.
Don't put away the knitting needles just yet, Ladies. Dr. Guillotine assures us that his device can be made less humane simply by letting the blade rust and go blunt.
Laissez le bon temps rouler! Que leurs têtes rouler!
Or, as the journalist Jimmy Breslin once wrote, "Some guys can't stand the sight of no blood."