Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Probably On His Side

I've not been giving Julian Assange a lot of attention. I've seen snippets of headlines the past few months, and felt it was too complicated for me to understand.  I didn't know enough to form an opinion about the whole thing.

But one of my Facebook friends linked to this editorial written by Assange himself.  I think his argument is pretty compelling.

It's sad because he's getting threats on his life, and his son is getting threats as well.  It doesn't surprise me, really.  Lots of people handle conflict and disagreement by spewing out death threats.    Oh, and some people actually go through with it.  Shit. I hate those people. Hey, but I won't go out and kill them.   Nor would I even threaten to kill them.   

The thing I've been hearing with WikiLeaks and Assange is that what he's doing is putting out information that could endanger lives.   I heard that, gave it a small percentage of my attention, and thought maybe this Assange was part of the DARK side.   But he says in his editorial,  WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.

That's a pretty powerful statement.  It's another example of people using fear to control the populations.  It reminds me of conversations I have with my anti-Obama friend.  Obama's going to take away all our freedoms. We won't be able to homeschool anymore.  We'll become Communist.   America will collapse.

Yeah. All that stuff COULD happen.  You never know. And aliens might attack tomorrow.    Someone might accidentally release a virus that kills us all.

There are so many exciting possibilities.

WikiLeaks COULD leak out information that causes harm to people.  

But we really shouldn't run our lives based on potential threats.  

I think for the most part, Assange is right when he talks about the world needing complete freedom of press.  We have the right to know the whole story, and we have the right to know the truth.    Maybe this ability to provide the truth will keep politicians more honest and governments less corrupt.   

I do think the press needs SOME restraint.  For example, if the government is planning a surprise attack, it won't be much of a surprise if Assange leaks it before it happens.  Assange talks about examples in history (such as Gallipoli) where the media positively influenced an outcome.    The media then was different then though.  It didn't travel as fast.  

Although maybe it's better if governments are prevented from making surprise attacks.   Maybe WikiLeaks will ruin the whole game of war....period. 

Anyway, Assange has recently been arrested in London.  This is for rape charges.   Supposedly Assange raped some people in Sweden.  Did he?  Is he an out control violent man who does these WikiLeaks things to get attention?  Is he trying to wreak havoc upon all of us? 

Or is he a hero framed by corrupt governments?

I have no idea.  I tend to believe the latter, but I could be wrong.