You May Be Right, Dead Right: Assange vs.Transparency
I recall a few years back while still a fellow at a psychoanalytic institute on the east coast that a case was brought up for review. To this day I am not sure if the case was real or if it was perhaps made-up for the purpose of studying ethics in an innovative manner.
The case was of an elderly woman in New Jersey. She and her elderly husband operated a convenience store in a crowded and poorer section of the state. One night while she was working alone just before she was to close, a gunman came in waving his gun,. yelling and screaming at the woman to hurry up and to empty the cash register in a pillow case that he had with him. The more he yelled, the more you could see that the woman was becoming agitated, disoriented, and obviously frightened. Suddenly, the elderly woman collapsed to the floor. She had a heart attack and died then and there. The entire episode was caught on tape. Aside from the tragedy that this is, the question that arose for discussion was this: Was the bandit to be accused or simple robbery or was he to be charged with murder?
As I review the article, "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been accused of "treason" by a Florida man seeking damages for distress caused by the site's revelations about the U.S. Government," I was instantly transported to the discussion of murder or robbery. The Florida man who has brought a suit against Assange claims that he has become depressed and paranoid and considered it a personal injury to his personal safety that the documents were released. The charges to be brought against Assange are treason and terrorism.
To begin with, to be charged with treason you would at least have to be an American citizen. Assange is not. Furthermore, were I given the rights to cross-examine this man, the first thing that I would ask him to swear to would be: "...have you read any of the documents that were released either having to do with the Iraq war or with American diplomacy."
In an article that I wrote recently for Technorati I ask the question, "Who is Bradley Manning?" Well to this day not one person has had an answer for me.
On December 18th, 2010, the article appeared in this online magazine (Who is Bradley Manning? The Boy Revolutionary) Later in the month a second article appeared, again in Technorati, in which the conditions of collateral murder were discussed in relation to the recent violence that occurred in Tucson.