Ever hear of him before this past weekend? His name and his organization, WikiLeaks, is now known around the world,
He's the guy who leaked 251,287 US diplomatic messages, intended to remain secret for at least 25 years, to the world this past weekend.
The messages are candid, not intended to be complete or comprehensive and certainly not intended to be released to the world.
Assange sent the quarter million messages to 5 major newspapers around the world---The New York Times, London's Guardian, Paris' Le Monde, Madrid's El Pais and Germany's Der SPIEGL.
In the coming days, these and thousands of other news organizations will show how the US seeks to steer world events.
SPIEGL writes, "Never before in history has a super power lost control of such vast amounts of such sensitive information---data that can help paint a picture of the foundation upon which US foreign policy is built. Never before has the trust America's partners have in the country been so badly shaken. Now, their own personal views and policy recommendations have been made public--as have America's true view of them."
Julian Assange has changed the world. At least for some time to come.
President Obama and his administration is condemning the publication of the documents as, "reckless and dangerous."
"The fact that 'private conversations' are now being made public," Obama's people say, "can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world."
This information will be used by a thousand voices to affirm their particular view of America---whatever that may be.
Do these documents show the United States has the world on a leash, working through US embassies around the world? Some say they do.
Expect President Obama to condemn Assange, which he has in essence done, then apologize to the world.
Will they show that Americans are consumed by fear, that we can no longer trust some of our allies, like Pakistan, and that such unstable nuclear countries could become the very source where terrorists can obtain nuclear material or weapons.
Our President will likely point out that we are only a "power among powers" on the world stage, and America has made many mistakes, for which we apologize.
And speaking of mistakes.
Who is Julian Assange? What is his background? Where is he now?
WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange, is a website dedicated to obtaining and disseminating government secrets. In this case, US government secrets.
Julian was born in 1971 in Townsville, Australia. His mother left his father, who was a theater director, for a singer who turned out to be abusive. His mother fled the marriage with her son Julian. They moved 37 times by the time Julian was 14.
Julian got married at 18, had a son, had a divorce, then spent years fighting his ex-wife in a custody battle, which was finally resolved in 1999.
Julian has always liked computers and at an early age became a skilled hacker. As a teenager, police raided his home on allegations that he had stolen money from CitiBank. He was never charged.
The Australian government, after investigating for 3 years, filed charges on computer hacking. Julian pleaded guilty to 25 charges, but was penalized only with a fine.
Raffi Khatchadourian wrote an article titled "No Secrets" for the New Yorker this past June when Assange's name first surfaced. I have linked the article.
After studying physics and working at various computer-related jobs, Khatchadourian explains Assange's thinking:
"He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by 'patronage networks' -- one of his favorite expressions -- that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled 'Conspiracy as Governance,' which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial -- the product of functionaries in "collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.' He argued that, when a regime's lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare."
The US Justice Department and other agencies have been investigating Assange's website for potential violation of national security laws.
Assange is presently under investigation in Sweden on allegations that he sexually abused 2 women while visiting the country last summer.
He is believed to be living in London at the present time.
Amnesty USA says he is doing a job that needs to be done.
Representative Peter Hoekstra, ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told George Stephanopoulos at ABC, "This is a colossal failure by our intel community, by our Department of Defense to keep classified secret."
Hoekstra says that it isn't up to Assange. "It's not his duty or his responsibility to provide this public service to the American people. This is, these are functions that need to be done by Congress and the Executive Branch."
Is this good or bad for America?
One thing is certain, it will not be President Obama's fault.
Assange says, "If citizens in a democracy want their government to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what's going on behind the scenes."
What do you think? Should everything be on the table for the world to see and hear?
Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Vigilant. Be Active. Be Blessed.
Faith and Freedom
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