Thursday, 2 December 2010

Assange is the wrong target

It is not only the moral right, but the moral duty of those on the inside of governments or organisations that undertake illegal, subversive or seditious activities to expose the wrongdoings to public view. We must defend and protect such whistleblowers absolutely, for in their conscience rests the warranty of our democracy. However, it is also completely right and proper for any nation to use its network of diplomats and consuls to gather political, military and economic intelligence to the benefit of that nation, within the limits of the law. There is nothing to suggest the information now appearing on Wikileaks exposes anything improper in any way. The US government therefore has a just expectation that its employees, agents and servants will keep it secret. The leaker, the insider, must be prosecuted to the limits of the law.


However, there is a view that the blood of probable leaker, a very junior soldier, will not be enough to assuage the thirst for vengeance, and that the publisher, Assange, will provide a far more satisfactory victim. This view is mistaken. 


Once the information is out, it's out. If Wikileaks is guilty then so is every mainstream media outlet in the world that has re-published the information. If Assange is guilty, then so is the BBC. The US government must take this one on the chin. The chance to shut down a valuable platform for legitimate leaks is a temptation to many governments, but it must be resisted. These leaks aren't justified, and should never have happened, but Assange is the wrong target. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said. People like Assange keep other people (namely our politicians) honest....err, well nearly honest. More honest than they otherwise would be. Patently!

Coney Island

Edward Spalton said...

I wonder what happened to proper security procedures, ciphers and distribution of information on a strictly "need to know" basis.

It seems to me that this great mass of information could not have been acquired and leaked without the US Department of State becoming extremely lax in its procedures.

But emails are very two edged pieces of communication as Jo Moore found out when she told colleagues that 9/11 would be "a good day to bury bad news" - a not surprising sort of reaction from a politican/official.

Politics makes people nasty. Some years ago when I was active in UKIP, a madman attacked an MP with a Samurai sword. I have to own up that my first, unchristian thought was "I wonder what his majority was?" That was the moral corrosion of mere part time politicking and it made me feel thoroughly ashamed.

Woodsy42 said...

I thought I saw somewhere on the recent news that the US had closed down wikileaks' servers.
Way to go dudes - show those censorship obsessed Chinese how we avoid govenment interference and defend free speech here in the free west.

Anonymous said...

You can fool some of the.............

Anonymous said...

You can fool some of the.............

Anonymous said...

they will have Assange in prison soon.
Always a good first move if you want to silence someone.