The project of being human
I'm a little unsure how I feel about WikiLeaks. I think Assange himself is less important...the ideas of transparency/secrecy/journalism/whistle blowing/power of the internet are what's worth discussion. Since I'm so conflicted on the topic, I'll just share one point of view that I found interesting. Yesterday Rep Ron Paul spoke on the House floor on this topic. Here's an excerpt of what he said:"It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination. But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn't the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? ... Questions to consider:Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?The full transcript can be found on HuffPost. I don't usually agree with Mr. Paul on most things (but I find him honest and thoughtful) but I think he makes good points here.Colbert also had a segment on this topic yesterday with Daniel Ellsberg, which was funny and provoking as usual. Worth a look.
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