The Forest Scout

In Defense of Julian Assange

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In Defense of Julian Assange

Grayson Knox, Staff Writer

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WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has recently been arrested by British authorities following Ecuador’s withdrawal of his asylum. He was found guilty of failing to surrender to the court in 2012, and will serve a year in British prison before being extradited to the US for conspiring to commit computer intrusion.

Assange has been a controversial figure since he founded WikiLeaks in 2006, a whistleblowing organization that publishes classified information to the public. He has been derided by some as an irresponsible leaker unconcerned about the ramifications of actions, or as a puppet spouting foreign propaganda by others.

But one cannot deny that he has exposed numerous abuses that would’ve otherwise remained under wraps. He has helped to expose everything from military crimes, such as the “Collateral Murder” video, to corruption in the Democratic National Committee that rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders.

The media has a duty to expose government corruption to the public. We have a right to know when our government is lying to us, and without that information, the perpetrators would continue unopposed. Because of this, I believe that Julian Assange should be pardoned by the US government, alongside other whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

Some liberal mainstream journalists are happy to see Assange’s arrest, as they view him as an agent of Vladimir Putin finally being served justice after ruining Clinton’s presidential campaign.

To that, I’d argue that these journalists are quick to forget their legacy. The Washington Post’s publishing of the Pentagon Papers helped Americans to understand the deceit surrounding the Vietnam War, and the subsequent investigations yielded even more troubling information, such as the CIA’s Mk. Ultra human experiment program.

The motto of the Post is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Without people like Assange, without people brave enough to expose wrongdoing, we will be forever shrouded in it.

About the Writer
Grayson Knox, Staff Writer

Grayson is a senior at Lake Forest High School. He loves to sail on the LFHS sailing team most of the year, and to ski in Utah during the winter. He is...

3 Comments

3 Responses to “In Defense of Julian Assange”

  1. Respectfully Disagreeing on April 13th, 2019 11:51 am

    While it is true that the public should have a right to a fair degree of transparency, being a “righteous ” whistleblower shouldn’t grant you any immunity. For starters, sometimes information is classified, redacted, and withheld for a reason, the public simply shouldn’t know about it for their own good and for the good of America. And even if the public deserves to know something, Julian Assange, by releasing information, should not simply be exonerated of any crimes. He is charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion (criminal hacking) and is charged with felony sexual assault charges for rape allegedly committed in Sweden. Just because he “served the public” by exposing corruption and classified intel, doesn’t make him a hero, a good man, or worthy of a pardon. He broke the law.

  2. A Forest Scout Reader on April 13th, 2019 10:50 pm

    I agree that Assange’s rape allegations should be taken seriously, but they should be addressed in Sweden rather than having him extradited to the United States. Besides, Assange will probably “mysteriously disappear” in the hands of the U.S. government before he gets the chance to face his rape charges in Sweden.

  3. Reader of the Forest Scout on April 15th, 2019 8:51 am

    I don’t like Hillary Clinton one bit, but Assange still broke the law. You cannot leak government information and expect to get away with it, that is not how the legal system works.

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