Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (12/19/10) derides WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for being “insufferable”–apparently because he emerged from prison talking about prison conditions. Milbank sarcastically noted, “As if nine days in an English jail fighting extradition to Sweden on sex charges made him a regular Nelson Mandela.”
You can decide for yourself whether that’s insufferable. (Assange said, “I had time to reflect on the conditions of those people around the world also in solitary confinement, also on remand, in conditions that are more difficult than those faced by me. Those people also need your attention and support.” Milbank ended this quote after the word “confinement.”)
But one thing is indisputable–Milbank’s column is inaccurate. Specifically when he writes: “Assange’s indiscriminate dump of American government secrets over the last several months–with hardly a care for who might be hurt or what public good was served.”
One more time: The release of the WikiLeaks cables has been extremely discriminate, actually. The documents are mostly released on schedule with various news outlets, with certain information redacted.