A spoiled, dangerous man
Much of what governments keep secret from their people should be revealed. It is in the nature of public officials to keep knowledge that may threaten them quiet.
But there is a difference between that and information that jeopardizes the security of an entire people. There are good reasons, too, to keep confidential facts that could be harmful to others.
Julian Assange, the Australian man who played and plays a large role in the Wikileaks program, finally may be about to face justice. And, for some reason, he has become a hero in the eyes of some.
Assange is no hero. When he sought and received asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London, he was fleeing not just criminal charges in the United States but also serious ones in Sweden. Here, he was accused of collaborating in a scheme through which tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic documents were stolen and made public on the internet. Some compromised national security. It has been said release of the documents resulted in the deaths of some U.S. agents operating abroad.
Given refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy, Assange continued his dangerous game. It may be recalled that he used Wikileaks to disseminate confidential emails from Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Finally — after evidence Assange was abusing his hosts by revealing some of their confidential information — Ecuadoran officials kicked him out of the embassy. British police took him into custody to await extradition proceedings from the United States and Sweden.
Swedish authorities still want Assange on a rape charge — hardly the stuff of which folk heroes are made.
Yet the rogue hacker remains admired by some. Why? Because he steals and reveals secrets.
Never mind that he does not discriminate between information that should be made public and that which harms both individuals and entire nations.
Assange is, as Ecuadoran officials have said, a spoiled but dangerous brat. He should be brought to the United States for trial — right after a woman in Sweden gets her chance to see justice done.