By now you must know that approximately a quarter million classified US State Department documents were stolen and published by the Australian national Julian Assange. Who exactly is Assange? He’s a 39-year-old self-described “journalist” who started out as a physics and mathematics student turned computer hacker. He was a member of the hacker group International Subversives in the late 80s and was accused of infiltrating systems belonging to an Australian university, the telecommunications company Nortel and other organizations. And it sounds as if his personal life is a mess. As a child, his parents moved several dozen times. His mother divorced twice, entered a custody battle with her second husband and finally took her children into hiding for five years. Assange has no permanent residence, preferring instead to be constantly on the move between several different countries.
And now he’s a rock star. Two months ago, he was ranked 23 among “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010” in a British magazine. He also received the 2009 Amnesty International media award. And the adulation continues with the opening paragraph of the Forbes interview done in London on November 11.
“Admire him or revile him, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is the prophet of a coming age of involuntary transparency, the leader of an organization devoted to divulging the world’s secrets using technology unimagined a generation ago.”
Why is Forbes so enamored with Assange? Well last year, he stole and republished 76,000 secret Afghan war documents. He also stole and republished almost 400,000 files regarding the Iraq war. It was the largest classified military security breach in US history. So what’s not to like about this guy? Unless of course, you’re an American patriot.
Allow me to offer you a few of Assange’s comments from the Forbes interview in order to get a small glimpse into the massive ego and arrogance of this self-appointed protector of the common man:
Regarding his plans to go after the American banking industry in the coming months, he said
“… it could take down a bank or two.”
“You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest.”
Yes, he’s ironically criticizing “unethical practices”. This must be the textbook definition of narcissism. Regarding financial regulation, he said:
“I’m not a big fan of regulation: anyone who likes freedom of the press can’t be.”
Apparently he believes that his organization wiki leaks is the new model for financial reform:
“WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this.”
He’s a self-described libertarian, but admitted:
“I have mixed attitudes towards capitalism, but I love markets.”
“WikiLeaks is designed to make capitalism more free and ethical.”
He also believes that he is the champion of open communications:
“New formats and new ways of communicating are constantly cropping up. Stopping leaks is a new form of censorship.”
He encourages free market competition, unless of course, it involves his organization. He gives his candid assessment of other groups that attempt to leak private information:
“There have been a few over time, and they’ve been very dangerous.”
“(The Chinese equivalent of wiki leaks hackers) have no reputation you can trust. It’s very easy and very dangerous to do it wrong.”
When asked if he endorses any other “leaking” organizations, he responded:
“No, there are none.”
And finally, he believes that he is above the law:
“We deal with organizations that do not obey the rule of law. So laws don’t matter.”
Understandably, he hasn’t made many friends in the US. Here’s a response from Sarah Palin:
“ the latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.”
“Julian Assange…. is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban.”
“How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class (the American traitor that passed information to Assange) could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information?”
“The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks…. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?”
Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra offered:
“The catastrophic issue here is just a breakdown in trust…— America’s allies and possibly adversaries as well — are going to ask, ‘Can the United States be trusted? Can the United States keep a secret? ”
New York Rep. Peter King, the ranking Republican member on the Homeland Security Committee believes that the government should go after wiki leaks for violating the espionage act.
And what did our President say Monday? Nothing.
This is not the first leak perpetrated by Assange this year. Since last summer, Obama has had advanced warning and the opportunity do something about this massive breach of US military and diplomatic security, yet has done nothing. Why? I can only offer three possible explanations.
1. He really doesn’t care about national security or the United States reputation among world powers.
2. He does care, but he’s paralyzed with incompetence.
3. He’s a passive-aggressive advocate of wiki leaks activity.
Both 1 and 2 are disturbing, but 3 appears to be a somewhat bizarre conclusion, unless you consider the following scenario; Hillary Clinton has been damaged by these leaks, almost irreparably. You see, the United States has allowed confidential diplomatic correspondence between nations to be published in several newspapers around the world, including the New York Times. Our government can no longer receive information in confidence. As bad as that seems for Clinton, there is more gasoline to throw on the fire. Some of the leaked information revealed that our Secretary of State has used her position to transform US diplomats into spies. One cable issued by Hillary specifically instructed US diplomats to secretly collect a variety of personal information on members and potential members of the UN Security Council. We’re talking about highly personal information, including
cell phone numbers
credit card account information
frequent flyer account numbers
The result? Our allies can no longer trust the United States of America. The State Department, under the direction of Hillary Clinton, has lost all credibility with the international community. And who stands to benefit by this? Well, perhaps Obama does. It’s no secret that Hillary was probably the greatest threat to his 2012 nomination. But now she’s been compromised. An argument could be made that ultimately the buck stops with Obama, however, the liberal television pundits have already begun to make excuses, explaining that Obama is only the President and cannot be held responsible for security leaks by foreign nationals. So clearly Hillary will be the one to take the fall.
It makes you wonder if she was given the Secretary of State gig as a set up, doesn’t it?