Libertarians (who, like Assange, hate America), have been portraying Julian Assange as a hero, and his cause as the cause of free speech. They’re mistaken.
Free speech is the right to freely preach and publish YOUR OWN opinions, claims, products, and documents – not those of other people. Even if you discount laws protecting classified information (which was classified for good reasons), there is still copyright law. In no civilized country in the world are you allowed, under any circumstances, to publish other people’s products and documents without the express permission of the author, unless they’ve relinquished copyright or have themselves slated the speicfic products or documents to be published.
In no civilized country in the world are you allowed to publish someone else’s bills, checks, account balance sheets, or private documents. No one except the recipient of a letter is authorized to publish it. There are many people sitting in prisons around the world right now for violation of this legal principle.
As for “secrecy laws”, former SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld refuted this argument on Nov. 30th, 2010, when he wrote on FB: “I was an original co-sponsor of the FOIA in 1966. There is a legal, appropriate way for declassifying information. It is not Wikileaks.”
What Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning have done is not “fight for free speech”, merely a casual crime, motivated by anti-Americanism, i.e. racism.
Also, I would like to note that:
1) Why the media hoopla about it? What is so extraordinary about these cable docs? The only thing I found out from them, and didn’t know earlier, was that much fewer people have died in Iraq and Afghanistan than what some leftist organizations claimed.
2) These documents are of dubious credibility. They’ve evidently been selected to fit a pre-established goal (to harm Western democracies, including the US), so why wouldn’t they have been doctored or even falsified? They cannot be compared with the original docs. Wikileaks has, to date, published NOTHING that would harm China, NK, Iran, Russia, Cuba, or Venezuela. Wikileaks clearly sympathizes with these countries, and is probably even financed by one of them.
3) Wikileaks is clearly a mere tool for some much more influential player. It has supposedly uploaded thousands of documents on the Net. Do you guys even realize how much time and bandwith it takes to upload any document onto the Net, even a simple picture? I once ran a primitive website about American military aircraft. Uploading a single large picture of a fighterplane took several minutes. Uploading thousands of documents onto the Net during a period of just 4-5 months is too big a task for a small band of crazy hackers. This had to be done by a much bigger, better-financed group.
4) Julian Assange is guilty. Unless he runs away like his fellow anti-American rapist Roman Polanski, he will be tried in Sweden by fair, impartial court, not by a kangaroo court in his beloved Russia, China, NK, or Iran.
5) The Army JAG Corps has charged Manning with “aiding the enemy” under Art. #104 of the UCMJ, but has requested only lifetime inprisonment, not the death penalty. It’s wrong. Manning has leaked thousands of cables to a foreign group led by a guy who hates the US, a group probably sponsored by countries hostile to the US. Thus, he deserves the death penalty.