Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Quote of the Day
"If I had decided to shame the British authorities on Iraq in 1976, I would have accepted the challenge to see them in court or otherwise face the consequences. I couldn't have expected to help myself to secret documents, make myself a private arbiter of foreign policy, and disappear or retire on the proceeds. All you need to know about Assange is contained in the profile of him by the great John F. Burns and in his shockingly thuggish response to it. The man is plainly a micro-megalomaniac with few if any scruples and an undisguised agenda. As I wrote before, when he says that his aim is 'to end two wars,' one knows at once what he means by the 'ending.' In his fantasies he is probably some kind of guerrilla warrior, but in the real world he is a middle man and peddler who resents the civilization that nurtured him. This Monday, in two separate news reports, the New York Times described his little cabal as an 'anti-secrecy' and 'whistle-blowing' outfit. Such mush-headed approval at least can be withheld from the delightful Julian, even as we all help ourselves to his mart of ill-gotten goods."
-- Christopher Hitchens on Julian Assange
Hitchens's piece in Slate ran late yesterday; this morning Julian Assange is in fact under arrest after turning himself in to police in London. Although hitting him with admittedly trumped-up sex crime charges is even more guileful than charging Al Capone with tax evasion.