The attempted extradition and prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the United States should be an obvious outrage. liberals
It’s a very clear effort by the US government to punish those who expose embarrassing secrets about its actions, and it could set a precedent that would threaten journalists everywhere. And yet many of those who should be championing Assange’s cause and condemning the prosecution are doing exactly the opposite. Plenty of liberals and mainstream journalists are inexplicably cheering for Assange to be punished.
There has been plenty of over-the-top gloating about Assange’s arrest. In the Atlantic, Michael Weiss said Assange “got what he deserved”. Some Democratic politicians have been salivating at the possibility of prosecuting him. Hillary Clinton said that Assange needs to “answer for what he has done”. Charles Schumer said he hoped Assange “will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government”. Dianne Feinstein has been calling for Assange to be brought here and prosecuted since 2010. The West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin went even further, with the truly disturbing comment that “now [Assange is] our property and we can get the facts and truth from him”. Nor did Bernie Sanders speak up to defend Assange, opting for the same shameful silence he has taken on the imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The other 2020 candidates, with the exception of Mike Gravel and Tulsi Gabbard, have also stayed quiet.
There’s a lot to be disturbed by here. First, it’s not clear that people like Schumer even care about the question of whether Assange broke any laws. Assange has been charged over allegedly helping Chelsea Manning to crack a Department of Defense password in 2010. The indictment has nothing to do with Putin or the 2016 election. Yet Democrats are thrilled enough to have a longtime villain in the clasps of the United States government that the actual charges, and their implications for free speech, are irrelevant. Read More
Julian Julian Julian Julian Julian Julian