Let's put down the legal pamphlets for a second and have an adult talk about the real world. At what point does one go from being a champion of free speech to a clear and present danger to the interests of another country and thus fall under the auspices of “enemy combatant”?
With this latest deluge of heretofore classified documents from rogue website WikiLeaks, I am starting to wonder if that line has been crossed. In this internet age so much classified information that used to be tucked away in closed files deep below ground makes a tempting target for those wishing to make a splash. For small men like WikiLeaks founder and public face, Julian Assange, this is certainly one of his aims. Also one cannot help but think a deep-seeded hatred of the United States is at the heart of his campaign to undermine our national interests. One wonders had Assange been alive in 1944 would D-Day have even been possible? Or would he have freely handed over to the Nazis the plans to Overlord and its many deceptions and deeply imbedded agents in the interest of the public’s “right to know.”
What exactly is the point of releasing U.S. diplomatic correspondence but for the sake of fostering mistrust of the one country that above all others expends it blood and treasure to protect the very freedoms that Assange claims to be exercising? Is it to remind us that governments, even those ostensibly friendly to one another, can at times be duplicitous? Is it really a shock that some members of the US State Department do not trust Putin? Have little faith in Karzai? Or doubt Sarkozy’s effectiveness? The online posting of such sentiments within our diplomatic corps may be an embarrassment in the touchy-feely world of international relations, but nothing earth-shattering.
However, what about the sensitive information involving serious diplomatic initiatives or combat operations in the field that most certainly will be compromised because of the release of this information? WikiLeaks is crossing a line now and the USA has a right to protect itself. When any organization knowingly puts our troops in harm’s way by intentionally compromising missions, revealing names of informants, and generally providing a gold mine of information to our sworn enemies, they willingly make themselves our enemies too. And then the gloves are off. The reality is this: it is a hard cruel world out there in which national interest trumps the faux rule of “international law” that without force of arms to back it up has never really existed other than as farce—or in the minds of an overzealous intelligentsia who take for granted that the our very forces they rely on for protection of their solemn rights will not turn around and protect our own right to destroy our enemies in whatever form…even that of a pasty Australian whistleblower who is treading a very fine line between crusader and legitimate target.
Assange has made numerous claims that should any harm come to him there is a battery of information even more damaging to US interests that have yet to be released but will immediately go out through its decentralized network of posters as a sort of ‘poison pill’. Perhaps it is time to call this man’s bluff.
If the past conduct of WikiLeaks is any guide, then it’s safe bet that the site will eventually publish all the information Assange refers to in due course anyway. Thus, as Assange is clearly placing himself in the role of an enemy combatant as much as any spy for Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, then it is within our right of national self-defense to take this man out. Then let us see just how many martyrs to the cause of Anti-American vitriol thinly veiled as a noble crusade for free speech will actually step forward to suffer the same fate. As an American who has had enough, I am willing to find out.