Monday, 27 August 2012

Dissent, or Betrayal?

Society needs dissent.

There are generally considered to be two types of dissentor; disclosers, and contrarians. The former are vital to a healthy democracy, as they help ensure that politicians, big business, and other actors are held accountable. The latter are a waste of space, with their poorly informed prejudices, dysfunctionalism, and half-baked selectively presented evidence. But that's enough about UKIP.

Probably the most prominent and controversial of disclosers at the moment is Julian Assange. This is a story that has yet to play out, but I suspect that one way or another he is going to end up in a jail in the US for a very long time.

I know it is fashionable to support Assange, not least because hands behind the scenes appear to be behaving in a duplicitous way. I make no comment about alleged sexual offences, but it is clear that something is going on at diplomatic level that might not be described as routine.

Wikileaks is not a website I visit, but due to the present controversy I took time to wade through it.

We, and the US, are at war in Afghanistan, and Wikileaks has released classified documents relating to operational activities in-theatre. Until quite recently, a chap would have faced the noose for such an act. This website is potentially compromising the safety of allied troops, and the chattering classes think that this is a good idea?

It is not for Assange to decide what is in the public interest here. The safety of our troops is paramount, and even the slightest scrap of information relating to past events in Afghanistan can reveal details of, for example, operational parameters that would be invaluble to the enemy. Any sympathy I had for Assange has evaporated.

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