The name Julian Assange evokes extreme reactions. Love him or hate him, but it’s hard to ignore him.
In the last few days this elusive yet omnipresent founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks has managed to take over sizable media space across the globe and some mind space as well for sure.
I have been following the developments around US Cable leaks and developments around Assange.
The second half has really got me glued, for the cables don’t have anything major or direct consequence so far.
Reading an opinion piece The Hunt for Julian Assange in The Thread section of New York Times which takes an in-depth look at how major news and controversies are being debated across the online spectrum.
I was amazed by the commentary which for me showed emotions of US journos at large towards this one man.
From a spy, to someone with blood on his hands to being an infoterroist, emotions flew left right and center making me wonder is this how journalists should react.
Some went to extent of assuming how Abhram Lincoln would have reacted to this. Bizzare.
In one of my earlier post I had mentioned how this guy with a computer has managed to irk US authorities and piss them off that some have compared him to Taliban or Osama Bin Laden.
These thoughts were echoed here in this one but with a different treatment.
The investors.com said : “The Bible assures us “there is not anything secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hid that shall not be known and come abroad.” In this vein, former computer hacker and self-styled “journalist” Julian Assange is again playing God, using his WikiLeaks cyberterrorism organization to reveal the military and diplomatic secrets of the Free World as it fights radical Islam and other threats.”
How justified is use of word cyber terrorism I wonder?
Another one Ezra Levant of The Ottawa Sun raises the ante: Why isn’t Julian Assange dead yet? His obsession is to embarrass the world’s freest countries — the U.S. and U.K.
Well if the countries are really freest than this guy has a right to express himself. There could be other ways of dealing with him other than killing him.
The writer goes on to say…And U.S. President Barack Obama could do what he’s doing to the Taliban throughout the world. He doesn’t sue them or catch them. He kills them. Because it’s war. Obama has even ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki. How does Obama see Assange any differently.
What Obama or rather the US led forces are doing is another matter of debate, but in no ways gives Obama or anyone right to kill someone.
Some question him being called editor of Wikileaks, while others say everyone should calm down and give Assange a time out. Well could do that but will a good story be suppressed so easily?
At last what drew me all the way down through the long page was the question on could the US prosecute Assange?
Legal scholar Stephen L. Carter at The Daily Beast said: “I think we could. Most of the conversation has centered on the Espionage Act of 1917. Assange’s violation seems fairly clear. The statute bars the ‘unauthorized’ possessor of a document who ‘has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation’ to communicate or transmit the document ‘to any person not entitled to receive it.’ ”
Well that is a legitimate reasoning of all what I read, but in the end commentator Tobin Harshaw concluded. Still unknown: Whether Julian Assange is on the right side of it or not.
I say the fascination continues.