Quote-mining by Richard Smith
Conservative Republican Mitch McConnell (Googling +”Mitch McConnell” +Assange, 415,000 hits) takes a Republican conservative position:
I think the man is a high-tech terrorist.
Democrat Joe Biden (Googling +”Joe Biden” +Assange, 929,000 hits) initially finesses the principle question, on 18th December:
I don’t think there’s any substantive damage.
…but just after that statement is issued, it seems that someone gives Democrat Joe Biden a good talking-to, and he starts to sidle towards the Republican conservative position, getting just over half way there, by 19th December:
Asked if he saw Assange as closer to a hi-tech terrorist than the whistleblower who released the Pentagon papers in the 1970s, which disclosed the lie on which US involvement in Vietnam was based, Biden replied: “I would argue it is closer to being a hi-tech terrorist than the Pentagon papers. But, look, this guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world.
“He’s made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends. For example, in my meetings – you know I meet with most of these world leaders – there is a desire now to meet with me alone, rather than have staff in the room. It makes things more cumbersome – so it has done damage.”
Tea Partier and libertarian Sarah Palin (Googling +”Sarah Palin” +Assange, 10,700,000 hits) takes a Republican conservative position:
“His [Assange’s] past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”
“First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop WikiLeaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months?” she wrote.
Assange is not a ‘journalist’ any more than the ‘editor’ of al-Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a ‘journalist’,” said Palin. “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.
Fox News Leftist Bob Beckel (Googling +”Bob Beckel” +Assange, 45,800 hits) takes a Republican conservative position, spelling out what “Assange is a terrorist” and “pursuing with urgency” really mean, if you couldn’t work it out:
“A dead man can’t leak stuff,” Beckel said. “This guy’s a traitor, he’s treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I’m not for the death penalty, so…there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”
Libertarian Ron Paul (Googling +”Ron Paul” +Assange, 1,320,000 hits) takes a libertarian position:
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 directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our government’s failure to protect classified information?
Number 4: Are we getting our money’s 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?
Well, I am not a local, so none of this makes any sense to me. Set me straight in the comments, ladies and gentlemen:
- Is the First Amendment relevant to Wikileaks?
- If so, which political party is the best custodian of it?
- What, if anything, do you make of the Google counts?