Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Some conservatives learn to love Wikileaks

How Julian Assange evolved from pariah to paragon - The Washington Post - David Weigel & Joby Warrick:

January 4, 2017 - "President-elect Donald Trump tweeted some praise on Tuesday for ... Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.... It wasn’t the first time Trump had praised WikiLeaks. During his campaign for president, Trump had gleefully highlighted emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. By October, just the mention of WikiLeaks could start a roar of applause at Trump’s rallies.

"Since then, Trump has continued praising the radical transparency group, harshly criticized by President Barack Obama and other officials for what they describe as damaging national security leaks. He has defended its founder, who has lived in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since August 2012 to avoid extradition on a rape allegation in Sweden. And Trump has been in sync with conservative media, once critical of WikiLeaks, which increasingly embraces Assange as a hero....

"Assange’s interview with Fox News was conducted by Sean Hannity, who had evolved from a critic to a frequent booster.... Hannity presented WikiLeaks in its favored terms – as a source of true, incorruptible journalism.... Hannity, who told Assange last month that he had 'done us a favor,' said Tuesday that he believes 'every word' Assange says....

"The Fox interview won other fans: Sarah Palin, who had once compared Assange to the editor of an al-Qaida magazine, apologized on Facebook and credited him with releasing 'important information that finally opened people’s eyes to democrat (sic) candidates and operatives'....

"This treatment of Assange is a stark departure from what was, until recently, a near-universal condemnation of the Australian by conservative pundits and politicians.... The releases that started in 2010 prompted calls in conservative media for Assange’s prosecution, or worse.... Jeffrey Kuhner ... suggested that the U.S. government should have him assassinated.... A column in the conservative publication National Review Online questioned why Assange wasn’t dead already – perhaps 'garroted in his hotel.' Trump himself, in one of his then-frequent calls to Fox, called WikiLeaks 'disgraceful' and added that 'there should be like death penalty or something' for its releases.

"Assange’s most fervent praise in the United States ... came from libertarians. Then-Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who ran for president in 1988, 2008 and 2012, asked in a floor speech 'which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?'”

"Assange ... appeared to notice where his defenders were coming from. In a 2013 discussion, ... Assange said: 'The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice in the U.S. Congress'."

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-julian-assange-evolved-from-pariah-to-paragon/2017/01/04/2a3ea6e6-d2b8-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.5086f5d4f173
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment