Are You Celebrating the Release of Julian Assange?

I address this to some of my fellow former or current journalists who this week are praising the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Why are you celebrating?

Is it because WikiLeaks’ publication of reams of the United States of America’s secret documents stolen by Chelsea Manning revealed many illegal or immoral acts by U.S. intelligence agencies, revelations similar to what many journalist might hope to discover and publish?

Are you aware that only a minority of the 750,000 secret documents Assange published 𝑒𝑛 π‘šπ‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘’ were about such acts and that he also published thousands of secret documents revealing the identities not only of pro-democracy activists whom the United States’ int3elligence agencies were secretly helping in authoritarian and dictatorial nations but also the identities of government officials in those dictatorships who were secretly providing information to U.S. intelligence agencies and what that information was.

For example, dictator Robert Mugabe’s secret police arrested and tortured Zimbabwean pro-democracy activists based upon what Wikileak’s published. Similar arrests and mistreatment of pro-democracy activists and U.S. informants in China, Myanmar (Burma), Guatemala, and other countries occurred due to Assange. So, are you celebrating the arrests, interrogations, torturers, and in some cases executions, of these pro-democracy activists and intelligence sources? If so, you are raising a toast to dictators.

What Julian Assange did wasn’t journalism. When a journalist obtains information that someone might have obtained illegally, a journalist reveals only that confidential information among it which reveals corruption of the public good π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘’π‘  π‘›π‘œπ‘‘ π‘π‘’π‘π‘™π‘–π‘ β„Ž π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘π‘œπ‘›π‘“π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘Žπ‘™ π‘–π‘›π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘€β„Žπ‘œπ‘ π‘’ π‘π‘’π‘π‘™π‘–π‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘€π‘œπ‘’π‘™π‘‘ π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘–π‘›π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑝𝑒𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑐 π‘”π‘œπ‘œπ‘‘. What Assange instead π‘Žπ‘šπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘™π‘™π‘¦ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘’π‘›β„Žπ‘’π‘ π‘–π‘‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘”π‘™π‘¦ was reveal government corruption plus reveal information that itself greatly aided the corruptors.

The reason why nations such as the United States have special laws protecting journalists is because professional journalists operate within an ethical code. Assange neither did nor does. By contrast, for example, when Daniel Ellsberg illegally provided The New York Times with the ‘Pentagon Papers’, proving U.S. government duplicity throughout the Vietnam War, along with that Ellsberg and the Times did not also publish the identities of the CIA’s secret agents within North Vietnam and those of North Vietnamese governmental officials secretly providing the U.S. with information.

If you cannot understand the difference I’ve outlined here, leave journalism.

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