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Assange smugly declared that he was above petty concerns about national security. “It is not our role to play sides for states. States have national security concerns, we do not have national security concerns,” he said. That kind of pious naiveté only holds up if one doesn’t have personal security concerns as well. Yet, we can presume that Assange is greatly concerned for his own security, based on the fact that he lives a life on the run. He was convicted of computer hacking in his native Australia and he has admitted that he pretty much lives in airports, in order to keep his enemies at bay. By pushing the envelope of the liberties that the western world grants, Assange has managed to stay a step ahead of the law through a clever understanding of how much he can get away with and by staying on his toes. Would the Taliban or al Qaeda give a parasite like Assange the same benefit of the doubt if Assange somehow manipulated – say – Al Jazeera to reveal the inner secrets of terrorist organizations? In that eventuality, what has been a game for the Australian would become deadly serious. A particular head would roll, literally.
By publishing the documents that Manning, or someone like Manning, provided, Assange has undoubtedly put the lives of Afghanis who have been cooperating with coalition forces, as well as coalition troops themselves, in grave danger. Assange may not be willing to admit that he has blood on his hands, but the fact is that his hands are soaked in crimson. As bad, or possibly worse, Assange’s treacherous actions have further weakened America’s already perilous position in Afghanistan. We can’t possibly stabilize the situation in that eternally war-torn country unless we enjoy the confidence of the people who live there, but Assange has undermined whatever tenuous hopes we have enjoyed for a mutually-beneficial relationship. “That is one of the worst aspects of this: will people trust us?” Defense Secretary Robert Gates mused.
The answer to Gates’ question is self-evident. As long as there are bitter, inflated egos like Julian Assange and the people who feed him information occupying positions that allow them to attack the very society that nurtures them, nobody will trust us and nobody should trust us. If so many innocent lives were not at stake, it would be poetic justice for Julian Assange to achieve his goals; to allow him to undermine the Western world until it is inert and emasculated. In that circumstance, you don’t have to be George Orwell to know that a rabble-rouser like Assange would be one of the first to be lined up against a wall, or – given the nature of our current enemies – to bend his neck over a cinder block once the new order hit the streets. But it goes without saying that a brilliant idiot like Julian Assange wouldn’t be able to figure that out until it was far too late.
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