Last night, President Obama explained that if you support freedom of religion, then you must not just permit but enthusiastically support building a mosque (or whatever it is) at Ground Zero. Today Wikileaks founder Julian Assange offered a parallel interpretation of America’s Constitution: if you support freedom of speech, then you have to endorse Wikileaks’ illegal leaking of classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. Assange began by portraying his own conduct as a profile in courage:
“This organization will not be threatened by the Pentagon or any other group,” Assange told reporters in Stockholm. “We proceed cautiously and safely with this material.”
They’ll be safe, all right. I suppose the Army could take out Assange with a Predator, but of course it won’t. On the contrary, we have this: “Pentagon pleads with Wikileaks not to release more files.” If Assange really wants to be brave, he should publish some disparaging cartoons of Mohammed.
Here is where Assange lectures us on our Constitution:
In an interview with The Associated Press, he said that if U.S. defense officials want to be seen as promoting democracy then they “must protect what the United States’ founders considered to be their central value, which is freedom of the press.”
“For the Pentagon to be making threatening demands for censorship of a press organization is a cause for concern, not just for the press but for the Pentagon itself,” the Australian added.
Sure, that’s what freedom of speech is all about: if you can undermine American security and endanger friendly Afghans, then you must!