By M. Alexander
The New York Times reported on October 23rd “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is on the run from authorities”. He recently released 391,832 classified documents concerning the war in Iraq. Some hail him as a hero. They claim his mission is noble, removing secrecy from modern government, adding a level of transparency to an opaque world. Others believe he is a villain with no respect for government and no idea of the potential consequences of his actions.
When I first read the article, I looked up to Mr. Assange. It is easy to see the rebel, the man surreptitiously fighting against government secrecy as a modern day Guy Fawkes, a hero unwilling to bend to government ideology. However, Mr. Assange is far from a hero. He did not remove the names of soldiers involved in clandestine operations. Though The United States has no “combat” troops left in Iraq, this information endangers many US soldiers who remain in the region.
I am all for transparency, but there is no use whatsoever in disclosing these names to the general public. Though I have little faith left in The United States Government, I still believe that they have reasons for not disclosing many of these documents. Sure, most of them have been stamped “classified” rather unnecessarily, but their public release can put American lives in danger. It is easy to classify Mr. Assange as a hero or a villain. However, he is neither. He is merely a man who has taken the wonders of modern technology a little too far without realizing the potential disastrous consequences of his actions.
- The Ethics of the War Logs: Debating the Pros and Cons of WikiLeaks (learning.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Julian Assange on Iraq War Logs, “Tabloid Journalism” and Why WikiLeaks Is “Under Siege” (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)