A people free to choose will always choose peace.
- Ronald Reagan
The arrest of Wikileaks co-founder Jillian Assange in London by Ecuador ending his asylum in its embassy has brought another dimension to the tumultuous life of the free speech champion. His arrest has once again stock the fear among his supporters about free speech being stomp upon and the government opponents like the US is likely to prosecute him. He came into the global media limelight in 2010 after he exposed a US military video in which Apache helicopters attacked and killed several people including two Reuters staff in Baghdad. There was an outcry by the US of being wronged and Sweden followed by investigating sexual assault case filed by two women against him. Sweden dropped the investigation in 2017 but Assange was arrested on Thursday for breaking rules of his bail in London. Now Sweden will reopen their sexual assault investigation. From the Ecuador embassy he was carried out by seven men and he was frail, most probably not keeping good health. He entered the embassy in London in 2012 as a free speech angel but came out seven years later as a being that has no defences against the happenings surrounding him with defeat on his visage. Whether he will be incarcerated, found guilty or walk away as a hero against whom various governments have ganged upto only time will tell.
The Assange episode have made the US rant against an individual as if he is a terrorist state personified. The way the US wanted him and accused him of a conspiracy unimaginable makes Assange look like he is a superhuman with unfathomable resources. In a way it has made observers doubt that the US may have committed many more atrocities, information hiding and killings, otherwise why would Washington be so mad at an individual. The moment the US was raging Sweden find it convenient to go after him with sexual assault investigation motivated with mysterious intent and now opening it after dropping it in 2017. The activities of governments around Assange suggest that there are trucks full of skeletons in numerous government cupboards across the globe. Now, leaking information is a crime to be prosecuted by law and why is the government have to keep them secret at the first.
Keeping things secret due to national security is understandable but why is the US so mad when its helicopters killing innocent people got exposed. Concealing information of killing innocent people will certainly not breach any nation’s security. Governments are keeping unsavoury secrets from its people if accepted can be dangerous. It will go against free speech. But at the same time to what extent freedom of speech should be allowed. The decision on free speech and allowing what information is legal is very difficult to decide. Do information become legit only when government decide them to be so? Hacking into government files and in any other files is a crime. But at the same time the information shared by Assange cannot be termed as mundane. The champion of free speech and expression, the US should think whether it should prosecute itself or not based on the information leaked by Assange. As for sexual assault and hacking the law will take its own course as against any other individual.