While many journalists try to strike a middle ground on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, certain American left-wing journalists who seriously hate the United States are fully in the Leak Tank. Take Salon's Glenn Greenwald, who charged to Assange's defense against the "pure authoritarianism" of Western governments "totally lawlessly" waging war on WikiLeaks on Tuesday's Democracy Now on taxpayer-supported Pacifica Radio:
Well, I just want to underscore how alarming everything is that you just described, both in that report and in your earlier one, which is, whatever you think of WikiLeaks, they’ve never been charged with a crime, let alone indicted or convicted. And yet, look at what has happened to them. They’ve been essentially removed from the internet, not just through a denial of service attacks that are very sophisticated, but through political pressure applied to numerous countries. Their funds have been frozen, including funds donated by people around the world for his—for Julian Assange’s defense fund and for WikiLeaks’s defense fund. They’ve had their access to all kinds of accounts cut off.
Leading politicians and media figures have called for their assassination, their murder, to be labeled a terrorist organization. What’s really going on here is a war over control of the internet and whether or not the internet can actually serve what a lot of people hoped its ultimate purpose was, which was to allow citizens to band together and democratize the checks on the world’s most powerful factions. That’s what this really is about.
It’s why you see Western governments, totally lawlessly, waging what can only be described as a war on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange outside the bounds of any constraints, because that’s what really is at stake here. If they want to prosecute them, they should go to court and do it through legal means. But this extralegal persecution ought to be very alarming to every citizen in every one of these countries, because it essentially is pure authoritarianism and is designed to prevent the Internet from being used as its ultimate promise, which is providing a check on unconstrained political power.
On Friday, Pacifica brought on radical Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg to sing from the same song sheet. The show summary explained:
Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971. "If I released the Pentagon Papers today, the same rhetoric and calls would be made about me," Ellsberg says. "I would be called not only a trader [sic] — which I was then, which was false and slanderous — but I would be called a terrorist. … Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are no more of a terrorist than I am."