America Urged To Back Off Assange Prosecution

Australian Geoffrey Robertson was given an award by the New York Bar Association and he used the occasion to warn his American friends and colleagues to avoid further prosecution of Julian Assange. He described himself as a “flag waver for the first Amendment” and argued it must always be at the center of American beliefs even though some diplomats might encounter embarrassment at release of their private thoughts. “Rather than shooting the messenger, US politicians and pundits should support the principle that citizens everywhere have a democratic right to know what their government does in their name.” He warned pursuing prosecution of Assange was going down the road of the infamous 1917 Espionage Act which eventually resulted in sending to jail Eugene Debs, a man who received nearly one million votes in the presidential election of 1912. His crime was to oppose US entry into World War I.

Robertson offered sound advice to our government. Yes, Julian Assange has embarrassed many people. However, the ironic aspect of release of documents is to reveal most US diplomats are aware of what is going on in the world.