You don’t get to love the truth one day and seek its suppression and the incarceration of its publisher the next.
– Julian Assange
Depending on who you talk to, he is either a dirty, rotten scoundrel – to borrow the title from a 1988 slapstick comedy — or the patron saint of all things transparent and free. In fact, there seems to be very little middle ground in any discussion of Julian Paul Assange. Sadly, what is happening to Assange is not a comedy. At all.
The Australian publisher, computer programmer and edgy journalist has certainly been paying for whatever sins he may have committed in the interest of “telling it like it is.” In fact, the entire Assange affair hearkens back to a line my father repeated to his three children early and often, “The truth hurts, stings and bites.” Indeed, it does.
Just this week, the dastardly Assange penned an op-ed in – of all places – The Washington Post. “Of all places” is certainly appropriate considering Assange was no friend of WaPo when he was spilling the beans on their favorite daughter, Hillary. Now that he has raised the ire of the Trump Administration, specifically CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Assange got his own fifteen column inches or so – and though I haven’t touched the actual newsprint, I’d bet my bottom dollar that article was above the fold.
And why, pray tell, has Director Pompeo declared war on Assange – the very man he crowed about last July 24th in a since-deleted tweet, “BUSTED: 19,252 Emails from DNC Leaked by WikiLeaks.” Could it perhaps be the Vault 7 WikiLeaks dump of all things devious and reprehensible executed on the American people by its number one intelligence agency? Methinks that just might be the Pompeo trigger.
So now the new Director of the CIA and his friends are on a mission to take out Assange once and for all. Forget hanging out in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the U.K. No, no; Assange seems to have crossed a line in the Sahara when he opened up the inner workings of an organization whose very existence is the trade of things done in secrecy. And he did it for all the world to see. As a result, the folks in Langley are more than a bit irate.
Could it be due to that little word “first” that appeared in the Vault 7 dump, which seems to beg for a second? If and when that other shoe drops, is wholly in the hands of Assange. And that is precisely what has government officials spooked (to use a word with which they are intimately familiar).
Earlier this month Pompeo issued an American fatwah on Assange when he said WikiLeaks is a “non-state, hostile intelligence service” that receives support from Russia. (Reuters) Oh boy. Here we go with the Russians again. All things deceitful and reprehensible point to Red Square. Not that Vladimir Putin is a virtuous soul, but honestly, do we believe he is so brilliant as to elect an American president without the consent of its people and relegate its premier intelligence agency to the proverbial ash heap just a few months later?
It just doesn’t pass the smell test.
Yesterday, for the first-time, WikiLeaks’ fearless leader openly shared information about the alleged rape case in which he’s accused. And, at first blush, the documents made public have the look of a classic frame-up to muzzle Assange. Nevertheless, confined to an Embassy without hope of stepping outside its doors for lo these many years has not been effective in silencing the provocative Australian. So now it’s time to pull out the big artillery. In calling for Assange’s arrest Director Pompeo demonstrates he is ready and willing to roll out Big Bertha – a verbal equivalent of the howitzer the German’s used on the eve of World War I.
Assange may not be a hero – but if there is at least some measure of truth to what he claims is the right of people to know about odious circumstances and behaviors that lurk behind the scenes — then there is logic and purpose to his actions.
On the other hand, perhaps his information dumps put some of our finest intelligence people on the firing line. It could be that he is simply an egotist who adores the spotlight. Or just maybe the WikiLeaks publisher has taken up the mantle of the world’s truth teller because sometimes light must be shined in the darkness for people to make good decisions. Such as it is, Assange is certainly not public enemy number one.
Whatever your view of the man and his actions, one has to wonder whether Julian Assange is incredibly brave or spectacularly stupid. Either way, he is a marked man and should think long and hard before his next move to make public documents regarding the United States and its Deep State.
Theologian Augustine of Hippo once said, “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; It will defend itself.
But the question remains: Who will defend the truth-tellers? Moreover, should we?