Collateral damage

Julian Assange is a hero; Julian Assange is a criminal. Those are the two schools of thought about the anarchist (we can all agree on that) who through WikiLeaks has released thousands upon thousands of documents from multiple sources. He claims all he wants is justice but what he’s done is illegal.

I’m not one of those angst-ridden writers who sees conspiracies at every turn and claims Assange is all about free speech. The video showing the Eighth Cavalry aboard an Apache helicopter killing unarmed civilians and a journalist in Baghdad is one thing, but the most recent avalanche of not-so-scintillating views by second-string foreign-service officers is little more than an embarrassment.

Some of the leaders quoted, such as King Abdullah of Jordan, sound no better. “Thank God for bringing Obama to the presidency,” says his excellency, then changes his mind and proceeds to call the president “camel poo-poo.”

Assange started out life in Australia as a hacker, worming his way into supposedly secure computers to leave behind taunting messages. All these years later, he hasn’t become any more useful to society. Releasing details about companies that make critical components for missiles just delivers new target information to terrorists.

One of the civilizing aspects of living in a democracy is consenting to keep some matters secret for a variety of agreed-upon reasons. Assange doesn’t belong, never did, and should be halted in his hacker tracks.

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