It’s been a bad week for Wikileaks found, Julian Assange. First, last Sunday, Republican Congressman, Pete King, started pushing for Wikileaks to be classified as a terrorist organization. Then, on Monday, Sarah Palin called for Assange to be hunted down as an “anti-American operative.”
But what Tuesday held in store made The Maverick look more like The Moderate. First, an established Canadian politico outright said he should be assassinated, while a Canadian newspaper wondered why he wasn’t already dead. Meanwhile, back in the US, authorities started looking into charging Assange under the Espionage Act.
Then, Late Thursday night, Wikileaks was dropped by their domain name provider and is now fighting to stay online (on a Swiss domain at Wikileaks.ch). Finally, on Friday, just as Ron Paul, a Republican, came to Assange’s defense today, arguing that he deserves the same protections as the mainstream media, Swedish authorities got a bit closer to getting him extradited from the UK to Sweden where he’s “wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.”
Rape is one of those things where the mere accusation can ruin you. No matter how you’re cleared in a court of law, the allegation will always hang over like the rancid musk of leprosy and rotting flesh. No one will ever want to get too close to you ever again. You’ll be untouchable.
Which isn’t to say that Assange did or didn’t do those things he’s suspected of having done by Swedish authorities. We weren’t there, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s just one big game of Swedish he-said-she-said, and we don’t speak the language, so I guess we’ll just have to sit this one out. But hard to ignore the timing of both the allegations and renewed pressure to bring him back to Sweden.
Back on the Ranch
But this whole mess is a lot bigger than Assange and his allegedly unruly member. The move to classify Wikileaks as a terrorist organization is Machiavellian maneuver that’ll extend well beyond silencing some perverted dissident.
First, it would prohibit US banks, and companies like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, from processing payments to the group. More importantly, it would also make it a federal felony to provide WikiLeaks with “material support or resources”.
If the GOP can push this one through, what we’ll be looking at, here, is the criminalization of information. Anyone who has it is a terrorist, and anyone who consumes it becomes one.
In a world like that, everyone with a mobile phone and a data plan is at risk — is a risk. One wrong “Like” or search query and you’re a freedom-hating enemy of the state to be neutralized in a swift and exacting manner.