One thing is for certain about Wikileaks and Julian Assange: there is not a consensus view on what to think about him and his release of secret documents. Traitor? Journalist? "New" whistleblower? Good? Bad? Messenger?
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) seems to think the latter. In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Paul wondered aloud if the anger toward Assange mirrors “killing the messenger for bringing bad news." He then attacks the "neo-conservatives in charge" who don't want to lose a grip on the "empire" (an odd charge considering there aren't any neo-cons currently in power).
He does, however, settle down and begin asking a series of important questions such as, how can the U.S. government charge an Australian citizen with treason for publishing information that he himself did not steal?
He ends his speech with more questions (via Mediaite):
Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?
Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?
Number 3: Why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?
Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?
Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?
Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?
Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?
Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?
Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?