Student or Learner
How should I understand "cost lives" and "the case for action" underlined in the sentence below?
Thanks in advance.
BIG crimes deserve tough responses. In any country the theft and publication of 250,000 secret government documents would deserve punishment. If the leak costs lives, let alone the careers and trust that have already perished amid the WikiLeaks disclosures, the case for action is even stronger.
"the case for action" here means "the argument for doing something rather than nothing." You put all your arguments together and that is your 'case'. So there is a case for action, and a case for doing nothing. Whoever has the best case wins (usually).