Debate Forum Right 12/08/10

Simply Put: Julian Assange is a High-tech Terrorist

By David H. Landon

David H. Landon

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is, very simply, a high-tech terrorist. How can one argue that his actions amount to anything other than terror? A terrorist uses the fear created from an isolated act, usually an act of indescriminate violence, to affect the decision making of a government that the terrorist would othewise have little ability to influence. The government will either concede to the wishes of the terrorist, or in the alternative, take steps to prevent future attacks which causes inconvinience and loss of individual freedoms to the citizens of that government. We are accustomed to thinking about terrorists in terms of a violent attack. Julian Assange has shown the world that you can now terrorize a government using the high technology of the current age. His actions, using downloads from the internet to reveal government secrets, is a crime of terror and needs to be treated as such.

General Eric Holder announced this week that the Justice Department is diligently looking into possible legal action against WikiLeaks and Assange. If he’s just now looking into criminal action, it begs the question: Where has the Justice Department been since July?  The  HYPERLINK “http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/26/AR2010072601570.html” \t “” WikiLeaks exposure of Afghan war documents occurred five months ago. Since that initial leak, Holder’s Justice Department has done nothing. Here’s the thing, and someone should explain it to Mr. Holder: We are at war. We are in a hot war in Afghanistan and we are in a worldwide battle against Al Qaeda where there is no front line. It’s taking place in locations as distant as Yemen and Times Square. Julian Assange, by releasing the government secrets through his Wikileaks website, has given aid and comfort to our enemies. He is sabotaging U.S. foreign policy and endangering lives.

Each time Wikileaks releases confidential information which is the property of the U.S. government, they violate the Espionage Act of 1917, which makes it a felony for an unauthorized person to possess or transmit “information relating to the national defense, which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” It is also a felony to fail to return such materials to the U.S. government. The courts have held that “information relating to the national defense” applies to both classified and unclassified material. Each violation is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Assange, who has now been arrested and is facing charges in Sweden for sex-crime allegations (more on that later) is now threatening the U.S. government with blackmail, in that WikiLeaks has posted a huge encrypted file, which he has identified as his “insurance.” Assange’s lawyer has described the file as a “thermonuclear device.” Reportedly, more than 100,000 members of the lunatic fringe who support Assange have downloaded the file and will receive the key to decoding it should anything happen to him or should the site be taken down.

What is it that this self-appointed revealer-of-all-government-secrets is trying to accomplish with these leaks? In a pair of essays written by Assange in 2006, “State and Terrorist Conspiracies” and “Conspiracy as Governance,” he sees the U.S. as an authoritarian conspiracy. In these, he said, “To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly… conspiracies take information about the world in which they operate, and pass it around to the conspirators and then act on the result.”  His theory is that these leaked governmental documents will restrict the flow of information among officials who are the bad guys in his view, making government less effective. He believes that if he releases enough information, a government like the U.S., “cannot act to preserve itself.”

Assange is not trying to right some wrong, he is trying to bring down the U.S. government. He has been determined to damage the U.S. since his disappointment over the outcome of the Cold War. It’s not that he is a socialist who was rooting for the Soviet Union. He is an anarchist who would now be working against the Soviets if they had prevailed. He is a modern-day Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber – another math-obsessed anarchist. Unlike Kaczynski, Assange is very willing to use technology to achieve his goal. He needs to be stopped.

In the real world, a place where Assange and his Wikileaks conspirators evidently only visit occasionally, governments must have secrets to operate and protect their citizens.  There are evil forces afoot. They are opposed to freedom and will do anything to see that our way of life is stopped. It’s not a good idea to allow these people (let’s call them the bad guys), to know everything that we are doing. Through these leaks of confidential government information, Assange and Wikileaks are putting lives at risk.

Julian Assange is, by any estimation, a strange man. In reading his paranoid writings, one begins to understand how important Assange is in his own eyes. He believes that he is always the smartest man in the room. Any collateral damage caused by his leaks is justified in his eyes because of the greater good that he is achieving – the destruction of the U.S. government. Assange is now under arrest in London and is awaiting extradition proceedings regarding sex-crimes that he is alleged to have committed in Sweden. If true, his criminal and boorish behavior with women is consistent with his overall philosophy on life. For Assange, his ends will always justify the means. Now that he’s under arrest, they had better keep this misogynist locked up.

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