First Posted: 12/23/2010
To the Editor,
Why are you all screaming about Julian Assange and Wikileaks? They didnt steal any secret documents.
The Swedish government has made two criminal accusations of Assange. They say that he had consensual sex with a woman twice, the second time without a condom. And they say that while having consensual sex with another woman, his condom broke.
Well, the women went public because each one is angry at him for cheating on her with the other.
Murderers, drug lords, financiers who fraudulently steal huge sums money all of you stand aside. Julian Assanges condom broke, which puts him ahead of you in the Master Criminal category, requiring more than $300,000 in bail. Vindictive, yes. Silly, yes.
Despite the screaming and yelling, nobody has actually charged Wikileaks with anything, and the reason is quite simple: As far as anybody knows they didnt steal anything, buy anything stolen, or sell anything stolen. They took material that was given them 250,000 U.S. government classified documents. They gave copies to three newspapers: Le Monde in France, El Pais in Spain, and The Guardian in Great Britain. The Guardian gave the documents to the New York Times. Wikileaks worked with these newspapers on timing the release, and redacted its copies in cooperation with the newspapers to prevent intelligence sources from being revealed or national security being compromised.
I think that counts as responsible journalism, and if what was released makes governments uncomfortable, thats too bad. One of the most important functions of the free press we have under our constitution is to make governments uncomfortable.
Government, get your house in order. Improve your security, protect classified information, and prosecute any criminal wrongdoing. But dont be vindictive even when your security is inadequate, even when the theft of a huge number of classified documents makes a big, worldwide stink.