The big meaning of Assange?
The latest Overblown Theory by American Thinker’s number one Overblown Theorist, J.R. Dunn, takes the form of a huge article that covers the gamut from Julian Assange to Lord Byron, from the Stuxnet computer worm which sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program to Dunn’s urging that “we must revive the idea of the heroic.” What it all means I don’t rightly know (which doesn’t mean that there is not an overall coherence in the article which I am not yet seeing—if a reader figures it out, let me know). Dunn’s one point that I do get, coming at the end of the piece, is that Assange represents the final decadence and petering out of the Romantic Rebel, clearing the way to a Victorian-type restoration of bourgeois Christian society. A restoration to be led, no doubt, by Sarah Palin.
Alexis Zarkov writes:
So far, based on the cables I read at the Wikileaks site and in the press, the whole Assange affair seems like a tempest in a teapot. So far. Is anyone surprised that diplomats engage in what amounts to gossip about foreign leaders? I’m sure that most of them do it. I would like to know how Assange differs from the New York Times. Daniel Ellsberg copied top secret Pentagon documents and gave them to the New York Times. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the government could not prevent publication of the so-called “Pentagon Papers” which later came out in book form. Neither Ellsberg nor the New York Times was punished. Today someone copied State Department documents, which are not top secret, and give them to Assange, who published them on the Internet. As far as we know, Assange did not take the documents, he only functioned as a conduit to the newspapers that did publish the cables. Moreover Assange is a foreign national, unlike the people who own and run the New York Times. I don’t see how the U.S. even has jurisdiction over what Assange does on foreign shores. Suppose someone in the U.S. steals classified documents and gives them to an Australian newspaper which publishes them. Can the U.S. now bring charges against the newspaper? Does U.S. law govern what happens in foreign countries? [LA replies: Of course it does. Wasn’t Manuel Noriega, the former president of Panama, taken to the U.S. and convicted in U.S. courts of drug trafficking, even though Noriega’s own conduct took place outside the U.S.? Hasn’t the U.S. arrested and tried foreign terrorists who had never been in the United States? If it’s against U.S. law to receive secret government governments and pass them to media organizations, then Assange has broken U.S. law and could be tried in U.S. courts.]
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 09, 2010 08:45 AM | Send