Last week I had a bit of a go at the founder of Wikileaks, and I feel a bit of clarification may be needed. I’m not against whistle blowing, although I did once come a cropper doing just that myself, but last week I was drawing a parallel between those who seem to want to elevate Mr Assange to sainthood and the case of Gary McKinnon.
My issue with Julian Assange is that knowledge is power and needs to be used with care. I frequently am rude here about politicians, but there is a responsibility issue at hand and politicians have a difficult job, more so the further up the ivory tower they get. My beef with them is often about how ill prepared they are to wield the knowledge and power that they have.
There are times when the people (whoever they may be) have a right to know things and there are times when they don’t. That decision has to be made by someone. Now we are all human and fallible, but when we are entrusted with those decisions we have to do our best to do the right thing.
The problem I have with Wikileaks is that I don’t see any sign of accountability, let alone responsibility. Mr Assange and his supporters are happy enough to attack The System, but look what happens when things get rough; it’s that same System that they look to to protect them.
It takes courage to wield knowledge and power. I don’t see a lot of that in Mr Assange, and nor do I see it in the way that the US government is behaving towards Gary McKinnon. Maybe there is an irony there.