Re: Rex Murphy: Removing Julian Assange’s haloDec 27th, 2011
Did he really say that? I'd like to know the source. If true, that's digusting.
In the OP.
That others may suffer or be killed because of his revelations doesn’t seem to bother Assange very greatly. In one batch of documents, journalists were able to find the names and home villages of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to U.S. forces — thereby making them targets for Taliban reprisal. Assange early and chillingly dismissed those consequences as something beyond his control — or, famously, on American television, as “his” collateral damage.
My view of the WikiLeaks disclosures — leaving aside for the time being the Americans own vast carelessness over the files — is that they were absolutely wrong. The action was licensed only by Assange’s own massively arrogant assumption that he, Julian Assange, was somehow “entitled” to do so; that he was the Solon who could determine whether lives could be put at risk, relations between countries ruptured, names named, and life-and-death operations opened to all.
We have come to regard almost any and all actions against “the state” automatically as works of virtue and worthy of praise. But our esteem is, in many instances, deeply misplaced and fraught with mischief and peril. Assange is more fame-seeker and groupie-collector than he is a moral agent. We should not confuse Assange, or the immature, morally witless Bradley Manning, with Solhenitsyn or Sakharov. The great Russians were heros who faced imprisonment, torture and ostracism to tell the truth. Assange was taxed to summon the courage for an appearance on the Today Show, with the grand inquisitor Meredith Vierra.