Joe Biden Falsely Labels Julian Assange a High Tech Terrorist

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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:

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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.

19 Replies to “Joe Biden Falsely Labels Julian Assange a High Tech Terrorist”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your position, Jason. I don’t see Assange as a terrorist, but as someone who exposed what really goes on behind the scenes in our government, and personally, I appreciate it very much. His dumps of material is information that Americans need to know, and since the MSM is so sorry at performing its duty and the government is so secretive, I view them as a means by which we can “monitor” the government’s activities.

  2. Terrific column, Jason. I am in complete agreement – Assange is not a terrorist – IMHO Assange is actually a hero for the ever-popular chant: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press. For VP Biden to NOT to compare Assange’s actions to Daniel Ellsberg’s actions is unthinkable. Both are brave men, both KNEW they would suffer the intolerance of the US government and did it anyway.

    We need more “journos” telling the TRUTH and calling out the LIARS. So BFD if the US government is caught in gossip and lies – an informed populace has more freedom to make choices if the information is out for the WORLD to see the actions of the good ole USA.

    I just wish more information regarding the “terrorist defense contractors” would be placed at this high level of government involvement – get rid of the mercenaries and quit making the taxpayers spend money on their evil deeds without any knowledge or input.

  3. Assange is a step into the next realm of politics and government. What do I mean? I mean that in the future we will have many Assange’s. Julian has changed the playing field from one that has bunkers and furtive secretive blinds governments hide behind. As everyone has seen, there is hardly a government or major corporation on earth that is not involved in some type of corruption. Going forward, the Assange’s of this world will begin to expose them more and more. I like it

  4. I wish Joe would make up my mind … a couple of days ago, on some other news program, Biden said he found Julian Assange and Wikileaks, mostly harmless and that there wasn’t anything he’d read in the leaked cables, that hadn’t already been published somewhere else … what happened that changed his opinion today, from what it was a couple of days ago? (heavy, heavy *sigh*)

  5. Bombs or cables, it doesn’t really matter; nor does whether or not Assange was successful in causing the panic and violence he likely hoped for. He and Wikileaks are terrorists, supporters of Muslim terrorism, and avowed enemies of America.

    They should be treated in exactly the same manner that we treat all such “illegal combatants.”

    It’d be nice to see Assange and the people involved in Wikileaks hanged by the neck until dead on the same gallows as that traitorous filth, Manning.

    Better yet, forgo the crap of trying to extend the jurisdictional range of our laws into foreign lands and have the CIA deal with them – with extreme prejudice.

  6. Joe you are an ass. Too bad the US government is so embarrassed due to the leaking of cables. It’s a shame you’re shown with your pants down. Assange is not a terrorist and you’re a tool for suggesting he is. I’m so disappointed in you and Obama. No hope and no change.

  7. @jonolan
    I support wikileaks but I don’t support Muslim terrorists and while I am sometimes critical of the US’s foreign activities I have never been anti-US. I do not believe it is the function of the leaks to be purely for the erosion of the either US’s image or government. I do not believe the intended recipients to be enemies of the United States but its citizens and the citizens of the world who have the right to know the details when they choose to allow US interference. When the government makes the citizens of the US and its allies become the enemy then it is time for revolution. Only the government can do this as wikileaks only provides data. It is up to the people to make their own conclusions about the data.

    Some of the leaks, arguably, even go as far as to potentially add support to some previously questionable foreign attitudes. The function I believe these leaks to be best for is to allow citizens of a democratic nation to make truly informed voting decisions and base their opinions on some level of fact. If they cannot, then the democracy is meaningless. A vote becomes a gamble.

    Wikileaks helps to ensure accountability. Some actions have been revealed that are not acceptable and can only be aided by the continued secrecy that the US government demands. Permitting the government undue secrecy it giving it a blank cheque. Can you really trust your government when allowed such impunity? If you do, you permit your government to rule, in addition to running a country, something that is foreign to the modern principle of democracy.

    I understand this can make things difficult for the US government but answer this: Do you want the government to decide only what you need to know and what truth you can handle? I can handle the truth that wikileaks reveals. Surely there must be many American citizens who feel the same. I feel that the benefit the voting citizens receive, those who are entirely responsible for funding the government and maintaining it, those millions who work to sustain the wealth of their country, is greater than the alleged harm (more like minor irritant) that the government endures. Those people have a right to know what they are working and paying for. They have the right not only to know about how their country handles its own internal affairs but how it handles affairs with the rest of the world. They have the right to know what it really going on in the world.

    Manning is a true hero. He did not care for the consequences to himself or care for blind allegiance to his nation’s government. He saw that there were some things that the people needed to know and some mistakes that were unacceptably protected by secrecy so he liberated the truth for the people of his country and the world. Could you be so brave to ally yourself not to your country but to the purity of the impersonal greater good? I have doubts that you could.

    What does make me anti-US is not anything I have read from wikileaks, it is the US government’s public response to wikileaks. Until they stand down they will find growing public resentment on the matter in foreign allied nations where it is best in their interests to preserve public support. The actions of certain US citizens and media agencies do not help the US either. The display of arrogance to assume that suggesting the right thing to do is to make an act of war against a nuclear equipped allied country by sending in an assassination squad is sickening. You will not find any public support with that attitude. Bradley Manning makes me think more highly of US citizens than you do.

  8. Well, if you want to hand out justice you should first hang those people who lied the US into an illegal war.
    Or committed atrocities; you know the same ones this “terrorist” shone some light to.
    Apparently, for you and your kind only the ones who uncover the nasty things done in our names are bad. The people doing the bad things are not.

  9. it would be interesting to ask for your linkage of Julian to Muslim terrorists, but I am pretty sure you won’t be back. If you are it will be under a different name.

  10. quite frankly I think in the future as governments tighten down on their people, you are going to see a great many more Assange’s

  11. To a high tech terrorist like Joe Biden, Assange looks like a High tech terrorist too! To the rest of us, those with clear conscious anyway, he looks like and astute journalist of the modern age , and only the tip of the iceberg! We can expect a deluge of such high tech revelations as time goes on! Imagine@ trumped up rape charges on a closed case against the fellow on behalf of a U.S.A. that loses credibility every day! Shades of the death of the modern Saladin, Saddam Hussein! What next, America?

  12. Unfortunately, the Americans managed to put in every american (almost all the world) mind that the Arabs are Terrorists because they want their petrol and the best goods in the world, and in other side, helping Israel to kill the innocent people under the reason of terrorism.

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