Maybe Shakespeare had it wrong. In Henry the VI, he was suggesting that before a revolution we've got to be shed of those pesky solicitors who understand the Law. Where ignorance is bliss, the Foole is made King, and in a revolution ignorance of the Law is almost a requirement. So the lawyers have got to go ...

There is, of course, more than one kind of Law. There are Laws the govern the actions of elementary particles, vacationing electrons, and chemical reactions as well, and there are some that seek to understand nuclear reactions and the muses of the subatomic world. Sadly, if these people live in a country that can't protect them, they can be murdered to the cheers and applause of the Television Watchers far, far away eating their popcorn and ice cream.

Knowing the Law can be a dangerous business if you're in a bad part of town:

When a semi-serious Presidential candidate like Rick 'Spreading' Santorum applauds murdering men of science I wonder exactly how many miles we've fallen down the rabbit hole.

Enrico Fermi, Bob Oppenheimer and a cast of others designed, built and saw the use of weapons of mass destruction and were hailed as heroes. They all, nearly to a man, were horrified at what they had done and pleaded for a "demonstration" of nuclear terror rather than the actual incineration of Japanese civilians. You know what happened, though, and there's not a scientist in America that doesn't remember that August 6th marked the end of the innocence.

Cable news reports to the contrary, there is much that comes from Iran -- mathematics, poetry, architecture, music. For a country with thousands of years of history behind it, it's hard to write these people off as savages. They're not. Read the poet Rumi and you'll see what I mean. From the land the preserved Hellenic thought during our own Dark Ages comes a desire for knowledge. This is no surprise. The surprise is in the death penalty for daring to think.

Was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan working on a medical reactor, a power plant or a nuclear warhead? Does it matter what he was building, or is the core issue more who he was building it for?


Why the irrational fear of Iran having nuclear technology? The Americans have the world's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and are the only nation to have ever actually used them in anger. They can be trusted with thousands of Big Sticks, but the Iranians can not be trusted to possibly build one, or possibly not? Pakistan has them, has sold the technology to all comers and still gets billions in US aid. North Korea has bombs and is leading the world's Least Stable Regime contest, but no one's knocking off their scientists. The nuclear club includes Russia, Britain, France and purportedly Israel, but no motorcycle bombers in London, Paris or Tel Aviv as yet.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has publicly stated that using such a weapon against America would be suicidal. Such a device would be of little practical use to them and, if they wanted one, the Russians have many for sale as do the Pakistanis with whom they share both a border and a religious tradition.

The Iranians have the money, they have friends with whom they share borders who have nuclear devices for sale, so why the serial murders of scholars and men of science? Who has the capability and desire to see these men die rather than have them elevate their country's technological base? Who is it that benefits from spreading such terror?

The answer is clear, but unpalatable to say the least.

Whoever is systematically killing Iranian scientists is clearly a nation-state, and this meets every possible definition of state-sponsored terrorism, which is something we Americans are supposed to be very much against. While we Americans are horrified, our government may not be. Who are these men that send drones to kill their own citizens and murder scientists? Who do they represent? Did We The People somehow lose control of our guard dogs? It certainly would appear so.

Copyright @ 2012 Greg Richter / IFR Music