Julian Assange: A Self-Righteous Lowlife, Not a Hero

Anarchists and America-haters might cheer the release of Julian Assange from his UK prison after striking a plea deal with US prosecutors, but make no mistake: He’s no hero.

Nor is he a “journalist” whose participation in the theft and distribution of mountains of extremely sensitive information deserves First Amendment protection.

He and his WikiLeaks group didn’t just publish stolen, highly classified and sensitive info; they eagerly sought it out, with Assange himself accused of actually helping then-US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning obtain the material.

Nor did he use any discretion in publishing the documents, even when it put lives at risk, identifying those who’d served as US informers in the war against the Taliban.

That’s not what real journalists do. Heck, it’s not what anyone who knows the difference between right or wrong would do.

Yes, information from insiders looking to report real abuse by government agencies should have an outlet, and if not taken seriously by authorities, given to the media to galvanize public pressure for reform.

Certainly, the politicization in recent years of the Justice Department and US intel agencies, and outright abuses by insiders makes the press’ role as a watchdog even more critical — though media insiders can and do collude with intel insiders to deceive the public, too.

But Assange wasn’t interested in justice or exposing true abuse; he simply relished obtaining and releasing any secret government or political material, particularly if US-based.  

Fact is, full transparency for government info, 100% of the time, is not just impractical; it’s idiotic: Uncle Sam needs to keep some critical secrets, especially when lives are on the line.

The nation faces real threats — from other countries, terrorists, criminals. Exposing plans for dealing with them gives our enemies a huge edge.

No, at bottom, Assange is little more than a radical anarchist hacker who cloaks himself in righteousness. In 1996, he pleaded guilty to 24 counts of hacking in an Australian case.

He faced a slew of US charges related to hacking and distributing material whose release dealt the United States a serious blow.

He should count himself lucky prosecutors let him plead guilty and walk free based on time served.

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