There have been some major news stories breaking over the past week, but none has been bigger than WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being arrested in London at the behest of the United States. Assange is a polarizing figure to many. To some, he’s an unsung hero who kept governments’ feet to the fire. To others, he is a dangerous individual who should have been arrested and jailed a long time ago.
And, as you might expect, the Left has been conflicted over his work. When it was George W. Bush getting skewered, Leftists loved Assange. When it was Hillary Clinton catching his ire, he was a Russian asset. And when President Donald Trump said he liked WikiLeaks and asked them jokingly to get her emails, Assange became persona non grata to the Left. (Persona non grata is Latin for “person without cheese.” Or something like that.)
Time to delve into the wonderful world of WikiLeaks and Assange.
What the Left thinks it means – a dangerous individual who is a threat to international security
What it really means – a 21st Century version of a hired gun
The Left’s attitude towards Assange is no surprise to me because they’ve played this game before. Remember Cindy Sheehan? The Left loved her when she would protest against George W. Bush, but when she decided to run against Nancy Pelosi, Sheehan was painted as an unstable grieving mother who couldn’t find her way out of a ditch with a map, a ladder, and a sign. The Left will use whomever they want in whatever fashion they want until that person becomes a liability to them.
And Julian Assange fits that bill perfectly.
I’ve been following his efforts to shine light into the cockroach infested halls of government for years, and it’s clear he has no allegiance to any one ideology or movement. He is truly a merc with a modem. That can lead to some interesting discussions about the morality and legality of what he does. On the one hand, he is revealing information the powerful don’t want you to know (or in Hillary’s case relying on the stupidity of her campaign staffers to openly give out the information inadvertently). Knowledge is power, especially in the Information Age. Yet, what if that information results in an innocent party getting hurt? Some could argue people like Bradley “Chelsea” Manning were damaged by working with Assange. And he/she may not be the only one, just one of the more visible victims.
This raises a question that hits at both the legal and moral parts of this discussion: is disobeying a bad law for good ends justifiable? Not an easy one to puzzle out, is it? Once you factor in such elements as severity of the crime (stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family versus stealing a loaf of bread to kill your family), the frequency of the crime (a first-time offender versus a serial killer who uses baked goods to kill his victims), circumstances (a poor child versus a rich white man who washed out of culinary school and wants to take revenge on the world), and so on, the hard and fast solution we want becomes murkier and harder to obtain. Yes, Assange broke the law in at least 2 countries, and the reasons behind that lawlessness may be the result of a lawless process, but it’s hard to get past the fact the law was broken.
Of course, none of that means jack squat to the Left. They will justify lawlessness in pursuit of their own ends without fail. How do you think Al Sharpton keeps getting sweet gigs in spite of his criminal behavior? The minute Sharpton flips the script and sounds like Rush Limbaugh with a tan, the Left will turn on him faster than you can say Tawana Brawley.
But this relationship isn’t one way. Seems the Left had no problems wanting Assange taken out. I seem to remember someone from a recent previous administration who wondered out loud whether Assange could be taken out with a drone strike, but I can’t remember who that was…I’m sure it was nobody important. After all, the previous President would never let someone make a joke like that or make a similar joke about his daughters and the Jonas Brothers.
Anyway, even a joke like that would be enough to motivate him to counterattack in the only way he knew how: by releasing damning information about Hillary Clinton. Personally, I’m surprised he had the bandwidth, storage capacity, and patience to limit it to just her emails, but bully for him all the same.
Here’s where I part company with Assange. Although he’s shown he has no allegiance to the Left or the Right, I can’t quite trust him. Call it the David Brock Effect. Brock was a Republican (or so the self-professed liar said in his book Blinded By the Right), but then shifted hard Left. Whenever someone shifts that drastically, even if I agree with the outcome, I can’t completely trust that person. People with integrity can change their minds without it affecting their core convictions. I don’t get that from Assange, just like I don’t get it from Brock because I’m not convinced they have core convictions beyond the here and now. That tells me their convictions can be bought and sold depending on who’s cutting the check. What’s to say Assange doesn’t goes after Trump tomorrow if George Soros drops a few million dollars in his lap?
Granted, this is speculation on my part because I don’t know Assange well enough to say definitively. He may be as consistent and dogged as I am to get to the truth. We will see in the coming weeks and years whether he is an opportunist or a soothsayer. In the meantime, I will enjoy the Leftist meltdowns.