Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wikileaks' Julian Assange Doesn't Like Info Leaked About His Case

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole Wikileaks disaster. On the one hand, he has put out some important information that people ought to know, like the fact that the Chinese government ordered the hack on Google in early 2010. On the other hand, they gave out information about how the US military can more easily detect roadside bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq, which means the Taliban can figure out how to hide them better.

While I think it's important that some information needs to be put out into the world, a la the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, I don't think information that can lead to death and maiming should. Hence my confusion.

However, what's done is done, and Julian Assange may be to blame for the deaths of more soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His belief is that information needs to be made readily available, no matter the cost. "Information wants to be free," he has said in the past.

Unless it's information about his pending rape trial in Sweden.

From a recent story in The Australian, Julian Assange's lawyer is in a froth, because The (London) Guardian published "previously unseen police documents that accused Mr. Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. One witness is said to have stated: 'Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent.'" (You can read the Guardian's article here.

Bjorn Hurtig, Assange's Swedish lawyer, said that he would ask the authorities to investigate "how such sensitive police material leaked into the public domain."

"I do not like the idea that Julian may be forced into a trial in the media. And I feel especially concerned that he will be presented with the evidence in his own language for the first time when reading the newspaper. I do not know who has given these documents to the media, but the purpose can only be one thing - trying to make Julian look bad."


Uh, do you not understand who your client is? The only reason he's made worldwide news is because he "wants information to be free."

And now he has his wish. His information is free.

When a guy releases information that endangers lives — not just embarrasses people, but could actually lead to deaths — he needs to live by the same standards he is setting for others. While I believe that Assange deserves a fair trial, he, of all people, should not expect anyone to do him any favors by keeping embarrassing information out of the public domain.

It's the goose and the gander. The pot and the kettle. Not having your cake and leaking it too.

Delicious irony, thy name is The Guardian.

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