Julian Assange, Tainted Hero

Julian Assange’s not a particularly sympathetic character, something you can read about in any number of articles about him. That, however, is no excuse for the punishment the US government wants for him.

You will recall that Assange started Wikileaks, the internet site that has been responsible for posting many thousands of items that various people tried to hide, mostly without reason. These include various embarrassing emails and other documents. These documents were written by US government personnel as well as corporation executives. Most of them are meaningless. Some of them are embarrassing. A few of them are criminal.

For exposing these things, the US government wants to punish Julian Assange harshly. They are already punishing an accused document leaker, US Army Private Bradley Manning, harshly, although he has been convicted of no crime.

For exposing things that should never be secret,
the US government wants to
punish Julian Assange harshly.

Our beloved government hides practically everything, as if we were not grownup enough to properly weigh even routine communications. My belief is that at least 99% of such documents should not be secret in a democratic society.

Assange, presently holed up in the embassy of Ecuador in London and asking for protection, fears being extradited to Sweden to answer charges of sexual crimes. What he fears is not those alleged crimes, but extradition to the US. He should answer the charges, but he is right to refuse, because Sweden is under the thumb of the US, and would doubtless extradite him at our request.

Once in the US, there isn’t even a remote chance he would be treated fairly. He is right that he would probably end up at Guantanamo prison, where hundreds of people guilty of no crime have been held in terrible, hopeless conditions for a decade, denied almost everything, their lives ruined for no reason. Many Gitmo prisoners have somehow committed suicide even though they are all on permanent suicide watch. Some have died under suspicious circumstances. And the damned place is still open.

It is even possible Assange could be executed. Senator Diane Feinstein claims he has endangered the country and put our forces at risk. In fact, there isn’t a shred of evidence that any American has been harmed by the release of vast numbers of documents that should not have been secret in the first place. She want’s him tried for sedition, which can carry the death penalty.

Assange’s mother: “Julian is a political prisoner, a journalist, a publisher of the truth about corruption, war crimes, kidnapping, blackmail, and manipulation. … He remains uncharged and unquestioned on a crime which, if you explore it, has absolutely no basis.”

I am in complete agreement. Regardless of Assange’s prickly personality and possible sexual misconduct, we should be ashamed of our behavior.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more. It is deplorable how
    our Government, picks and chooses. There
    are far more dangerous criminals. It’s obvious that this is all political. Democracy? What’s that?

    Like


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