For the past couple of days I have listened to the news about the WikiLeaks release of more classified U.S. government documents, and heard several people calling for Julian Assange to be arrested–one person even said he should be executed–and most said that his intention was to harm the United States.
If Assange (who is Australian by the way) hacked into government computers, or if he stole the documents some other way, or paid someone to do it, then he should be prosecuted. But not because he published the documents on the web. Is this still America, or did I wake up in another country? Where was I when the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was repealed? When did folks begin believing in censorship?
If someone lets the pigs out and they tear up the garden, do we punish the pigs? The leak of the documents may have embarrassed, even harmed, the U.S. government. But what should really embarrass the government is that someone within its ranks supplied WikiLeaks with classified documents. Whoever did that broke the law. If all Assange did was to receive the documents and publish them, well, that’s the government’s fault for not having adequate security for its secrets.
Don’t punish the pigs.