While most people may reluctantly admit that it’s not quite ethical to infringe on copyrights by downloading free music online, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is especially livid — and he wants to punish anyone who would dare attempt an illegal MP3 download.

In fact, in a recent Senate hearing Hatch seemed adamant about destroying the computers of any teen, mother, or teacher who happened to surf the web for a free copy of Beethoven’s Fifth. When Randy Saaf of Media Defender Inc. stated before the Senate “no one is interested in destroying anyone’s computer [to disrupt music downloads]” Hatch jumped in eagerly.

“I’m interested,” Hatch interrupted. In the gospel according to Orrin, damaging someone’s computer “may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights. If that’s the only way, then I’m all for destroying their machines.”

Yup — Hatch seems to think that spreading viruses to America’s computers somehow constitututes proactive public policy. Oh, Orrin!