The Pentagon is labeling Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange an “enemy of the state,” on par with bin Laden and the rest of Al Qaeda. Any military official who had contact with Assange or Wikileaks or supporters of either is at risk of being charged with “communicating with the enemy,” which can be punishable by death. Supporters of Assange or Wkileaks have been labeled as an “anti-US and/or anti-Military group.”
Many have been calling Assange and whistleblowers like U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning “terrorists” for supposedly leaving our national security threatened by leaking classified information to the public. They’re arguing that since this sensitive information was made public, everyone including Al Qaeda had access to it. So, in this context, U.S. officials argue that Assange and other whistleblowers have given information over to terrorist organizations.
But that’s not the nature of Wikileaks, nor of whistleblowers in general. Their goal is not to be treasonous, and they don’t all of a sudden hate their own country. Whistleblowers are those that work for an organization including our government and military who see corruption in the organization and want the corruption to stop. Most of the time, simply talking to a supervisor will do nothing because the supervisor may be involved himself or his job or life is on the line to keep the corruption under wraps.
Historically, whistleblowers or anybody in the upper echelons of our government who simply “knew too much” were found killed in “freak gardening accidents” or unfortunate suicides. So, at this point, the whistleblower’s only safe recourse would be to leak the information to news media (which isn’t all that safe since the identity of the person sending the information can be found out) or more recently to post the sensitive information anonymously to Wikileaks’ website.
Wikileaks has been able to accommodate whistleblowers by allowing them to post internal, confidential documents anonymously that expose corruption in not just our government and military, but also corporations like banks. Not surprisingly, our government and other institutions don’t like this. They don’t like being exposed and not knowing who is doing the exposing. So, they’re after Julian Assange. They want to bring him and his website down. They’re demonizing him. Ever since Wikileaks started leaking documents, authorities have been pressuring companies like PayPal, Amazon, credit card companies, web hosting services and others to sever all ties with Wikileaks to dry up its funding and force it to shut down.
Right now, Assange has sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. His attorney is afraid that if he is extradited to Sweden where some unrelated and trumped up rape charges originated, that the U.S. will have him extradited to the U.S. where he would face espionage charges.
Our government can read our e-mails, listen to our phone conversations, monitor our internet activity, track us, watch us constantly on surveillance cameras, and that’s “protecting us.” Someone does the same to them, and that’s “terrorism.”