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Michael "I guess you could call me a statist" Grunwald, Time magazine journalist, sent out a kind of unbelievable tweet last night: "I can't wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange." While Grunwald didn't say why he decided to say that thing about Assange in a public forum, the 'joke,' since deleted, comes from a reporter who actually wrote a piece called "Tread on Me." So it's possible that he might be reacting to Friday's Assange endorsement of the American libertarian movement. In any case, here's the tweet:

Glenn Greenwald, Grunwald's fraternal surname twin and the journalist who broke a series of stories on NSA data collection based on leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden, was something of an outrage gatekeeper against the tweet:

He wasn't the only journalist pretty much shocked at one of their own, even among journalists with reason to criticize the Wikileaks founder:

And Assange's mom is REALLY mad:

Grunwald removed the tweet and apologized, after a supporter argued that it gave "Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in."

Time has commented. In a statement, the publication said that "Michael Grunwald posted an offensive tweet from his personal Twitter account that is in no way representative of TIME's views. He regrets having tweeted it, and he removed it from his feed." After re-tweeting and responding to a series of reactions to his tweet and his apology, the journalist has stayed off Twitter.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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