Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Should a person who exposed the truth, get prosecuted?

Lots of stuff going on on the international scene regarding Wikileaks and its sensational disclosure of confidential US army data, that blew the lid off some very questionable acts committed in Afghanistan.

Rather than looking into the matter of actually prosecuting the people behind the atrocities, there is a debate ranging on whether Wikileaks and its founder/spokesperson, Julian Assange, should actually be prosecuted! The Pentagon is said to be seriously looking into how best to get him incarcerated or worse, killed.


My opinion:
If a law, when interpreted in a certain way, allows you to commit a crime, then it is the law or its interpretation that is wrong. Either an exception must be made in its application in exceptional circumstances, or the law in its present form, must be struck down to be replaced by a better one.

But following a law despite knowing that doing so violates a bunch of preceding laws and also defeats the main purpose for which the law was created - to protect the country and its citizens - would be more illegal than the original act.

The debate about whether to try Wikileaks should not get mired in endless details. The question to be asked is simple : Is the USA - the country - in any way being harmed by Wikileaks, with full intent?
Short-sightedness may say "Yes". But think about it : Isn't the country being more harmed if the illegal actions of its rulers are hidden and not leaked?
As of today, has the USA branded all the Vietnam war protestors and whistleblowers as traitors or spies? Does the USA recognize its own founding fathers as criminals (they too committed treason against the government at the time)? Or do they treat all of these as heroes?
We need to be clear on who is the person really harming the country's interests - the whistleblower, or the guys who created the mess in the first place.

I believe that whatever law that exists that protects a Whistleblower / informant, including freedom of speech, should take precedence here.

In Addendum, here are a few links related to this matter:
http://www.thejuicemedia.com/ - A rap song that sheds light on this case - in a really cool yet accurate way!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLy2UOaA0CU - Al Jazeera grills Swedish prosecutor over "defamation"
Why did Swedish prosecutors break their own policy in Assange case? http://bit.ly/cRKwVR
US prosecutors eye WikiLeaks charges | WSJ http://bit.ly/a58SeU
Why WikiLeaks must be protected | New Statesman http://bit.ly/cQffiC
Killing the wrong people in Afghanistan | CBS http://bit.ly/9CAEFm

In a similar case, something that's happening in our own backyard:
Ace voting machine activist, Hari Prasad, imprisoned http://bit.ly/ahhNAf
EVM whislteblower Hari Prasad on the phone, when he was arrested by Mumbai Police : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKTSW-CA_x0
(I couldn't help but feel goosebumps towards the end of this conversation. This man should be rewarded as a national hero, not arrested!)

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