This morning on “Meet the Press,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a “high-tech terrorist.” McConnell, of course, is only one example of how our elected representatives in Congress are screaming for Assange’s prosecution. Some notables in the media are even calling for Assange to be charged with treason, as though the US government could actually bring treason charges against a foreign national, an Australian in this case.
No, the outrage should be directed at Pvt. Bradley Manning, who stole the information, and at the US government itself and the poor security measures that made the theft possible. “Security” is a misnomer when an Army private in Iraq can download and steal 250,000 confidential, sensitive diplomatic records without triggering any kind of alarm. The fault here, and the blame, lie squarely at the feet of our government.
Whether you think Assange is a defender of free speech or a reckless, irresponsible criminal, the fact is he could be neither without the enablers/thieves who supply him with information they’ve stolen from governments and corporations around the world. He’s not the cause of the security leaks; he’s just the inevitable result.