Geronimo Ethics

"GERONI-"--no, I'm sorry. Let's see...uh..."

Somewhere, I sometimes suspect, there is a mega-computer that scans all news, media, films, TV, video games and pop music offerings, alerting various minority groups to fresh new opportunities to manufacture complaints based on victim-posturing and absurd political correctness. The thought has passed through my brain once again, as I see reports such as the one that appeared in the Washington Post this morning, describing how Native American advocates are offended that the codename for the military operation that killed Osama bin Laden was “Geronimo,” named after the iconic Apache warrior.

A codename, as the term implies, is a word or name intended to stand for something other than its actual meaning and historical significance. Ergo, the Manhattan Project was not a plan to drop New York City on Japan. Many codenames have had absolutely no relationship to their military meanings; what is important is that they not be too hard to remember or too easy for enemies to figure out. The mission to get bin Laden could have been named “Meat Loaf,” “Lindsay” or “Charlie Sheen,” all of whom would have been honored and amused, presumably. The military picked “Geronimo.” Continue reading

Unethical Post of the Month: Jonah Goldberg

In his latest post on the National Review website, conservative blogger Jonah Goldberg wonders why the CIA hasn’t had the sense to assassinate WikiLeaks founder and current renegade leaker Julian Assange. That’s right: Goldberg believes that in the national interest (for Assange has gathered and leaked massive amounts of classified information relating to U.S. military operations), the U.S. government should murder an Australian citizen without due process, a trial, or anything approaching regard for law, ethics, and human rights.

I make it a rule, in the interest of civility and respect, to control the urge to sink to pure name-calling, but really: what an idiot. And a dangerous one. Continue reading