Reporters recently asked Gov. Mike Huckabee, Fox News host and terrifying 2008 presidential candidate, what he thought of the recent releases of classified government material by Wikileaks. He said, “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”
Hearing those words from an ordained minister who supposedly stands for “family values” makes me want to puke, but unfortunately Huckabee is not the only figure to induce a bit of nausea in me while discussing the recent leaks.
Wikileaks is a nonprofit organization that functions as a secure, anonymous method for sources to leak inside information on everything from international diplomacy to the inner workings of large corporations. Wikileaks founder and Editor-in-chief Julian Assange lives as a nomad, traveling from airport to airport for fear of his safety and freedom. Early Tuesday morning, Assange was arrested in the United Kingdom on Swedish rape charges (which conveniently coincided with the most recent cable releases).
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration retained by President Obama, said over the summer that Wikileaks’ releases on the war in Afghanistan would endanger innocent lives. Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, went so far as to say, “Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”
It requires a special kind of mental illness to help run a war that has killed thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians and then claim that a journalist has blood on his hands for revealing the truth. Do you know what endangers innocent lives, Mr. Gates? Dropping bombs on innocent people. Also, there is no documented proof of a single person ever being physically harmed as a result of Wikileaks’ activity.
Wikileaks has only released a small fraction of the 250,000 diplomatic cables they are planning to go public with. One cable shows that the United States was responsible for a cruise missile strike that killed 21 children. The message, sent by Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh to U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, said that Yemen’s government would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”
Maybe I’m just insane, but it seems to me that we should be mad about the people who are killing children, not the ones telling us about it.
Since 9/11, government intrusion into individuals’ private lives has been rampant, and the constant refrain from those who take our freedoms is, “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.” Apparently the same rules don’t apply to our benevolent, all-knowing rulers.
As more and more revelations pile up from the Wikileaks releases, Assange and the rest of the organization are sure to face an uphill battle against the establishment, because as Congressman Ron Paul said, “truth is treason in the empire of lies.”