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.