Today, readers are responding to news that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by London police at the Ecuadoran embassy after that country dropped his diplomatic protection. Mr. Assange could face up to five years in jail. In a statement, London’s Metropolitan Police said Mr. Assange had been arrested for failing to surrender to court. Police added in a later statement that the Wikileaks founder had also been “further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, after his arrival at a central London police station.”
There are some very polarized views of Julian Assange and Wikileaks being expressed here. While I'm generally in favour of the increased transparency Wikileaks claimed to be in favour of, they've always struck me as a little, let's say, “selective” in their transparency. Selective transparency can be an awful lot like putting one's thumb on the scale. The irony is that he'll fight extradition to the U.S., even though Donald "I love Wikileaks" Trump was the guy he helped elect with the Democratic Party emails leak.
I would like to think this particular narcissist's power trip might be finally coming to an end, but somehow I doubt it. At the very least, the monument of hypocrisy that he constructed, Wikileaks, will carry on insisting that it is making everyone else accountable whilst bristling at any suggestion that it or its members should be accountable themselves.
Conservative For Life in response:
What exactly should Julian Assange be accountable for? The heinous crime of informing the public of what their governments are up to? Meaningful democracy is impossible when a government operates in secrecy.
K McIntyre in response:
The idea that transparency in government is a good thing is not disputed. However, the idea that governments should not be able to keep anything secret, including important defense information, personnel details, internal diplomatic communications, identities of intelligence sources, etc, is clearly absurd, as well as dangerous. Wikileaks has been liberal about leaking all of those things. Julian Assange's point of view is that the only person in the world qualified to make decisions about what information is good vs. harmful to the public interest, is Julian Assange. And, unsurprisingly, he is happy to abuse what power the Wikileaks platform gives him, turning it into a propaganda outlet. When Russian intelligence provided WikiLeaks a trove of internal Democratic communications, they didn't just release it. Instead they trickled out the most headline-worthy pieces they could find, in an effort to generate a steady flow of negative headlines about Clinton throughout the entire 2016 election campaign. That is unambiguously propagandist action, and any ethical cover in the name of transparency is absent.
The Work Farce also in response:
Someone said, "Democracy is messy." When the rot of government corruption is revealed it isn't neat and pretty.
Assange should be celebrated as someone who helped expose, if nothing else, the illegal U.S killing of Reuters journalists in Iraq. His organization's work should be defended not just by The Globe, but by all Canadians who value journalistic freedom.
Very ambivalent about this. Wikileaks did provide a window into illegal/unethical government activity. But it also helped get Donald Trump, the malevolent avatar, elected as President of the United States. As many are saying, the courts will have to decide whether Wikileaks was just a publication protected under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment or whether it committed conspiracy. One thing I'm wondering about is why now? Why would Trump with all the legal problems he already faces allow for another trial with the potential to hurt his presidency badly? Perhaps he will use the opportunity to turn the tables on the Democrats.
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