Apropos the last post, here are a couple of interesting links discussing the predicament of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who recently leaked a video showing US troops opening fire on a group of civilians in Iraq.
First, the Daily Beast has an interview with Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers back in the 1970s. Ellsberg claims he was the target of a US hit squad:
On May 3, 1972, a dozen CIA assets from the Bay of Pigs, Cuban émigrés were brought up from Miami with orders to “incapacitate me totally.” I said to the prosecutor, “What does that mean? Kill me.” He said, “It means to incapacitate you totally. But you have to understand these guys never use the word ‘kill.’”
As for Julian Assange being at risk:
Absolutely. On the same basis, I was….Obama is now proclaiming rights of life and death, being judge, jury, and executioner of Americans without due process.
Meanwhile, the politics editor of The Atlantic disagrees:
Assange is probably the safest person in the world right now, at least in so far as his ability to fend off arrest by the United States. […] If I were Assange, I wouldn’t trust the U.S. government enough to believe their assurances that “we just want to talk to you.” However, the overriding interest of the U.S. counterintelligence establishment right now is in Assange NOT publishing additional secret information. The one way to ASSURE that the information gets published would be to detain, arrest, torture, kidnap, render, or assassinate Assange.
Regarding my question in the last post, concerning whether an outsider would make a distinction between WikiLeaks and the Icelandic government, I find Jessie’s comment interesting;
I don’t think it’s clear where the line is between Wikileaks and Iceland’s Parliament to an outsider. The recent New Yorker article helps some, but also makes clear that there are many Icelanders who are willing to help Wikileaks/Assange — not that that is a bad thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some ramifications from the US (not planes with bombs in them, but perhaps on a diplomatic level somehow).
I think it’s confusing to conflate transparency with what is clearly a political agenda on Assange’s part, but hey, I’m an American, so I must be blind.
As before, I’m interested to see whether there are Americans who feel the line between WikiLeaks and the Icelandic government is a bit blurry, particularly in view of recent developments in legislation.