There’s no doubt that Yahoo, the Internet search that no one in their right mind ever uses, behaved despicably when turning over data to the Chinese government that was used to jail a political dissident. It’s a relatively simple equation: the company decided that it would be profitable to do business with the Chinese government, despite its repressive censorship: that profits trump moral considerations for multinational corporations is no surprise.
The spectacle of Republicans in Congress condemning the action, however is perhaps more despicable. While comparing Yahoo to the companies that helped the Nazis conduct the Holocaust might have appeared to be a strong rhetorical stance for Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), one wonders if these two have any right to compare anyone else to fascists.
After all, Congressman Rohrabacher was responsible for this gem, while defending extraordinary rendition, an illegal, secret government program to round up suspected terrorists, take them to foreign countries and torture them:
Rohrabacher said if European countries did not cooperate with the United States and go along with whatever the Bush administration wanted, they were condemning their countrymen to death by not using extralegal methods to imprison terrorist suspects. When citizens attending the hearing, including members of Codepink Women for Peace and Veterans for Peace, heard Rohrabacher’s statement, they collectively groaned. Then, much to the shock and disbelief of everyone in the hearing room, Rorhbacker said to those who had expressed displeasure at his statements: “I hope it’s your family members that die when terrorists strike.”
Rohrabacher and Smith are both strong supporters of the Patriot Act, opponents of equal rights for same sex couples, in favor of making appeals in death penalty cases harder, and advocates of the Iraq War.
Oh, and both support electronic surveillance without a warrant in the United States.
So, if in the world of Representatives Smith and Rohrabacher Yahoo has become the Krupp Corporation, what exactly are they?