It is well established through legal precedent that media outlets can legally publish classified documents in the public interest. This has irked many in light of WikiLeaks’ ability to get ahold of particularly embarrassing documents, but in a nation less and less interested in law and order to begin with, is this a restraint or an opportunity?
Former State Department official Christian Whiton made his position clear, urging the president to designate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as an “enemy combatant” and calling on the Cyber Command to launch attacks against “any telecommunications company” that they believe are in league with WikiLeaks.
Others raised the prospect of sending Assange to Guantanamo Bay, America’s favorite legal black hole. Still others insisted that the military should be “waging war” against the whistleblower organization, which has released nearly half a million classified documents showing a myriad of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Media outlets have made much in recent days of Julian Assange’s “paranoia,” yet the increasing calls for military action against him make his secrecy seem fairly prudent, particularly when the response of most war enthusiasts to evidence of mass torture and enormous civilian deaths is to simply seek (potentially violent) reprisals against the organization that pointed it out.