Vice President Joe Biden was on NBC’s Meet The Press today, where he gave his own opinion on Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Biden said of Wikileaks, “I would argue that it’s closer to being a high tech terrorist than, than the Pentagon Papers.”
Here is the video from NBC:
When asked about Sen. Mitch McConnell’s claim that Assange is a high tech terrorist, Biden said, “I would argue that it’s closer to being a high tech terrorist than, than the Pentagon Papers. But look, this guy has, has done things that have damaged and, and put into jeopardy the lives and, and occupations of people in other parts of the world. He’s made it more difficult for us to conduct our, our business with our allies and our friends. For example, in my meetings, you know I meet with most of these world leaders, there is a desire now to meet with me alone rather than have staff in the room. It makes things more cumbersome. And so it is, it has done damage.”
The Vice President is flat out wrong. Assange is not a terrorist. By definition, the goal of a terrorist is to spread fear. A terrorist uses fear as a political weapon to achieve their goals. Has Julian Assange spread fear to the people of the United States? The answer is a resounding no. Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda were able to spread fear in the US after 9/11. No matter how much the United States tries to portray him as such, Julian Assange is not Osama Bin Laden.
While I have my reservations about Assange’s motives, and I believe that the way that Wikileaks has released information in the past has been irresponsible and has recklessly endangered innocent lives, Assange is not terrorist. The United States government has been embarrassed and is now out to vilify Assange. That’s really what all of this about. I thought the last information dump was harmless. This is about creating a new enemy for the US government.
Biden did bring up an interesting point. If Assange conspired with Bradley Manning to get the information, instead of having the information given to him that he packaged and released to the press, then a crime may have been committed. My issue here is with the willingness of many elected officials to use the word terrorist to describe Assange. In the US, the term terrorist evokes images of planes flying into buildings.
The implication is that Assange is a threat to America on par with Bin Laden. This is completely false, and it is dangerous rhetoric for people like Biden and McConnell to be invoking. I understand the importance of national security, but the Vice President should not be using the term terrorist so frivolously.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association