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Julian Assange: Hero or Criminal?

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Silverfiddle Rant!

Barack Obama got in one more jab at the nation on his way out the door when he granted clemency to traitor Chelsea Manning, the Army Private who gave classified information to Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Manning is back in jail after refusing to cooperate with a grand jury looking into Julian Assange:

Manning, convicted in 2013 of leaking classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, was jailed in early March as a recalcitrant witness after refusing to answer the grand jury’s questions. (Gizmodo)

The US charges against Assange have nothing to do with “journalism:”

Assange allegedly aided her in attempting to crack a password that would provide access to Defense Department network used to store classified documents and communications. While Manning already had access to the network, known as SIPRNet, the password would have enabled her to download additional material under a username that was not her own. (Gizmodo)

Assange was just the conduit.  That in itself was not a crime.  If it were, our prisons would be filled with writers from the New York Times, Washington Post and many other media outlets who gleefully publish classified information.  This new information–that Assange attempted to crack a US military network–now puts him in the criminal category.  It looks like Manning may again be in legal jeopardy if new information is discovered that contradicts her earlier sworn testimony.

The most interesting aspect of this is the confusing scrum of different ideological camps attacking or defending Assange.  The battle lines do not break down neatly, with all left/Democrats on one side and all right/Republicans on the other. I will spare you explanations of this lunacy.
Julian Assange is no hero. He published stolen classified information that chilled secret nation-to-nation diplomatic efforts, many of which were humanitarian. His dispatches also damaged the United States. I do not support prosecuting him for this, as if it were possible.  I fully support prosecuting him for his role in Manning’s traitorous espionage.  I hope they both end up in federal prison.
What say you?

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