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It Could Be Me!

There are a number of articles about Julian Assange in the online magazines today. There is a tone of frenzy about them. Assange is a journalist of sorts and his arrest and possible extradition are hitting a little too close to home. It’s that Kent State feeling. The next time it could be me.

Jack Schafer of Slate predicts Assange will become a martyr. Glenn Greenwald of Salon analyzes the distortions and fabrications surrounding the affair. The most amusing article is by a senior editor of The New Yorker in which she spews out her thoughts like a high school senior and manages to say nothing. They all seem a bit nervous (except Greenwald, of course), particularly since Joe Lieberman is saying that The New York Times should also be prosecuted.

I don’t usually respond to articles of this sort (or any sort), but I couldn’t help sending a note to Schafer suggesting he was wrong. He wrote back and said he always is. But then, I thought out a scenario in which he may be right. If the United States manages to extradite Assange (not sure how this would happen since it is Sweden that wants him) and he is prosecuted in the States, it will be a heavy-handed and messy affair intended to put the fear of god into others like him. Then, indeed, Assange will become a martyr.

The case would be weak, though. Assange is not a United States citizen and has not broken any laws. More than likely, then, our government will push for Assange to be prosecuted in Sweden and put away for a good long time. The problem with this scenario is that the case against him is not easily proven. So, maybe, Schafer is righter than I imagined. The Affair Assange will likely result in a great deal of negative publicity for the governments of England, Sweden, and the United States.

The problem for our own government is that it must stop activity of this kind (or so it thinks). It’s simply too embarrassing. Our leaders are just now beginning to realize that it’s like plugging a dyke with a thousand leaks. In other words, next to impossible. The next step, trying to muzzle the Internet, isn’t going to work either. There are simply too many parts of it our government can’t control. The only solution is similar to the one used in China–outright censorship.

Say what you will about Julian Assange, but you have to admire him. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He wants there to be thousands like him.

December 7, 2010   2 Comments


A winter desert
With crows, exhaust, and grey skies:
The world of zazen.

December 7, 2010   Comments Off on 305