Julian Assange, is the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, an organization that two years ago made it's splash debut in the media after releasing thousands of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables. The information released through this organization has been touted by Assange as being "for the greater good," and he claims his actions are free speech. In a BBC report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying WikiLeaks' actions are "an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conventions and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity." Assange may very well know that what he has done crosses the line of freedom of speech, or he wouldn't be hiding in the embassy of Ecuador in London.
New York Congressman Peter King called for Attorney General Eric Holder to declare WikiLeaks a terrorist organization and to prosecute Assange for espionage. Fox News analyst, Bob Beckel would agree and called for Assange to be outright assassinated for his actions.
"A dead man can't leak stuff," Beckel said. "This guy's a traitor, he's treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I'm not for the death penalty, so...there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."
That is a strong statement. The remarks seemed to come out of passionate state of wanting justice to be served. I'm not sure that illegally shooting Assange is the answer, but I do believe if our government does not respond harshly in this case we will be sending the message that we tolerate terrorist behavior.
What Assange has done personally to America is conniving and wrong; it is not journalism and it is certainly not "for the greater good" as he asserts.
Assange recently made his first public appearance after months of being confined to the embassy of Ecuador in London. In his speech on Sunday, he demanded the United States drop its "witch hunt" against WikiLeaks. Yahoo!7 News reported, "The United States has insisted it had nothing to do with efforts by Britain to extradite Assange to Sweden, and Tuesday denied former hacker's 'wild assertions' it had launched a witch-hunt for him." Assange continued his speech by talking about freedom of expression and the health of all our societies being under threat and asked for the U.S. "war on whistle-blowers" to end. Assange also called for the freedom of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who allegedly gave thousands of pages of confidential American documents to Assange that he later published on WikiLeaks.
Originally, Assange entered the embassy in Ecuador in June where he was avoiding questions about alleged sex crimes in Sweden. Ecuador is offering Assange asylum, but Britain says they will not give him a safe passage out of the embassy. Assange said he is willing to answer questions about the sexual allegations brought against him but only if he is guaranteed to be in the safe-zone. He is afraid Sweden will hand him over to the United States where he could face the death penalty for espionage.
In a last-ditch effort, Assange is trying to sensationalize this story even more (if that is even possible) by accusing the U.S. of launching a "witch hunt" against WikiLeaks. He has won over some followers who apparently sympathize with him and feel he is being persecuted for freedom of speech. I believe our government needs to send a clear message of a zero tolerance policy on espionage. I want the US military and its leaders to know the U.S. government is behind them along with the rest of the nation. I want our justice system to follow through and call Julian Assange out for who he is. If our government reacts in the way that it should and justice is served then that, Julian Assange, is protecting "the greater good."