Hitchens on Wikileaks

Good stuff. He mentions the Valerie Plame angle, which is one that I hadn’t considered before:

As for the public’s right to know and the accountability of our covert or confidential agencies, it is only a short time since the entire American liberal consensus was witlessly applauding a clumsy and fruitless prosecution, directed entirely at the hopelessly overdramatized exposure of a relatively minor CIA official, married to a monster of conceit who makes Assange look bashful. It then turned out that Valerie Plame’s job description had been made public by Robert Novak and Richard Armitage, who also had in common with Assange a rooted opposition to the administration’s Iraq policy. Elements of the left and the right appear to have switched positions on full disclosure since then.

As should be clear by now, the left’s sudden enthusiasm for “openness” is motivated mostly by crude anti-Americanism, rather than any genuine concern for justice.

Then there’s this:

If I had decided to shame the British authorities on Iraq in 1976, I would have accepted the challenge to see them in court or otherwise face the consequences. I couldn’t have expected to help myself to secret documents, make myself a private arbiter of foreign policy, and disappear or retire on the proceeds. All you need to know about Assange is contained in the profile of him by the great John F. Burns and in his shockingly thuggish response to it. The man is plainly a micro-megalomaniac with few if any scruples and an undisguised agenda. As I wrote before, when he says that his aim is “to end two wars,” one knows at once what he means by the “ending.” In his fantasies he is probably some kind of guerrilla warrior, but in the real world he is a middle man and peddler who resents the civilization that nurtured him. [emphasis added]

Sounds familiar.


Here’s a question that occurred to me the other day. If instead of looking like this, Julian Assange actually looked like this, do you think that everyone would be swooning over him the way they are?

The latter picture, if you don’t know, is of Richard Stallman, who’s been advocating for free and open software (and government) for decades, and who can rightly be said to be one of the people who helped make things like Wikipedia and Wikileaks itself (to say nothing of stuff like the Firefox web browser) possible. Some of his thoughts about Wikileaks and “Anonymous” can be found here.



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