Julian Assange: A hero or a villain?

Published On Sun Dec 12 2010

The cyber wars that are raging over WikiLeaks and a wide-open Internet are bigger than the website’s founder, Julian Assange. Even as he sits in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden for alleged sex crimes, an army of “hacktivists” is targeting companies seen as hostile to his secret-spilling activities. And from Stockholm comes news that former WikiLeaks staff will soon set up a rival site.

Assange — with help from The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel — has opened the floodgates on American diplomacy and warcraft. They won’t soon be closed. Technology changes things. Keeping secrets is becoming harder.

And that’s the victory that matters for Assange, a self-proclaimed transparency warrior. “I'm a combative person,” he told CTV News. “So I like crushing bastards. It is personally, deeply satisfying to me.”

Washington’s nemesis hails from a part of Australia where folks “distrusted big government,” he told the Guardian. He hopes his dump of 250,000 diplomatic cables (like earlier dumps of 500,000 files from the Iraq and Afghan wars) will force officialdom to “lock down internally” and “cease to be as efficient” as before. He is a foe of government secrecy, of “conspiratorial interactions among the political elite,” and of what he views as authoritarian power.

His critics scoff at all that. To them, Assange is an anarchic terrorist who has trafficked in state secrets, sabotaged U.S. diplomacy and put lives at risk. “This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. “It is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.”

Maybe so. But WikiLeaks also has shone light in dark areas. It exposed Canada’s former spy chief for seeming contemptuous of the public, scornful of the courts and dismissive of human rights. It exposed U.S. spying at the United Nations, the killing of 15,000 more Iraqis than was known and Saudi Arabian pressure to bomb Iran. These are things the public should know.

Embarrassed U.S. officials are tempted to prosecute Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. But as the Los Angeles Times has pointed out, “criminal prosecution would be an ominous overreaction” in a nation that shields journalists who publish confidential information.

Wherever Assange may fit, uncomfortably, on the publisher/editor/reporter continuum (or on the hero/villain, truth-hunter/axe grinder scale), the L.A. Times could discern no great difference between the newspapers that aired the WikiLeaks file and WikiLeaks itself.

Washington is taking the action that matters, by tightening access to cables so that people such as U.S. Army Pte. Bradley Manning can’t pilfer vast archives. Assange no doubt welcomes this as a sapping of the government’s “total conspiratorial power.” But he may be disappointed. The U.S. has been here before. The Pentagon Papers exposed official duplicity without bringing government to its knees.



Sweden is to be commended for changing the playing field of sexual misconduct where consensual protected sex does not permit Unprotected sex. That is, ripping off the condom during sex changes it from consensual sex to rape. It may not be rape in the rest of the world right now but it will be in the future and for that Swedish feminists can take a bow.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. In Canada tens of thousands of women get consensual sex fraudulently claiming they can't get pregnant but choose a time when they know they are ovulating. Its theft of sperm and rape but are not yet, criminal offenses but should be. Canadian courts allow these women to gain millions of dollars in support that they got by fraud.





Assange is widely acknowledged as being not just highly intelligent but with an extremely resourceful, determined individual with, a personality that has left a trail of destroyed relationships, nothing unexpected from a man that came from a dysfunctional broken family background.

These two Swedish women did NOT ask for charges, they expected protected consensual sex but did not apparently expect any unprotected risky sex which is what Julian Assange exposed them to. They asked for him to get an STD test, he refused and in Sweden, that makes it a criminal offense that does not exist anywhere else at the present but Sweden is leading the world and rightly so.

If Julian did not have his troubled personality, he would have taken the test and he would not have gone to jail where he got himself all though his own stupidity and lack of empathy which are two characteristics in common he will have with his fellow inmates.




Assange's Swedish "criminal charges" set an example to the rest of the world. Having unprotected sex, and failing to reveal if you have a STD or even failing to get a test for STD after having unwanted, unprotected sex when protected sex was consensual is a crime in Sweden and so it should be. Assange, has an almighty ego, not to mention a troubled personality that means he is not the sort of person to get a test for STD "after" he leaves a one-night-stand and we can bet that he scores a lot. All he had to do was to do an STD test and he refused. Now he wonders why he is in jail. His acts of releasing some information was almost guaranteed of causing some deaths, he knew better. On the plus side, his releases have saved lives and shown up war crimes. The problem is, his acts amount to criminal negligence causing death, not that all his supporters will want to admit that or his refusal to take an STD test after two Swedish one-night-stands. www.OttawaMensCentre.com