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Originally posted by Tsuki-no-Hikari
NOTE: I am neither condoning nor condemning Jullian Assange and WikiLeaks in this topic. The point of this topic is to plead for the ATS community to scrutinize Assange as they would any other person or topic that is discussed here.
"Deny Ignorance" seems to be fading here. Julian Assange has become the Jesus of the WikiLeaks religion, and as such he seems not to be subject to the same scrutiny that other subjects receive without question. But why is this? What is so special about Julian Assange that makes questioning him or his motives frowned upon here on ATS? Why is it that people who dare criticize him are labeled trolls or disfinfo agents?
I think it's safe to say that world governments and the media aren't trusted here. We're talking tens of thousands of people whose opinions and versions of events are heavily scrutinized and debated endlessly. However, the moment Assange, just one single person. speaks or acts, an alarmingly large amount of people seem to take his words and motives at face value.
Julian Assange is human like everyone else. He is capable of lying. He is capable of having an agenda. He is capable of acting out of self-interest. We just don't know. We don't know if his motives are altruistic or sinister. We don't know whether he truly wants to get the truth to get out or if he just enjoys the attention. We don't know whether he is a concerned citizen of the world or a CIA/Israeli/etc.plant. We don't know if whether he actually needs the donation money or if he's trying to make a profit. What we DO know is that he has aided in the leaking classified information. However, this and his lifestyle on the move don't tell us anything about Assange as a person. We don't know who Assange really is, mostly due to his own efforts People are trusting him on faith alone, which goes completely against what ATS stands for.
This one really gets me. Assange is accused of rape, says it was consensual, and that seems to be enough for people. While I'm not going to offer my opinion on the matter, I do have to ask this: Why couldn't he have raped somebody? Most criminals claim innocence, but anyone who stops to think should know that just claiming innocence doesn't mean anything. Some people argue that he has too much to lose, that he's "too smart" to do such a thing. These arguments don't make much sense, because history has shown us that life events and future prospects do not prevent crime. Consider these two cases:
-When I was in high school, there was a popular kid (whom I'll call 'James' to protect his true identity) that
pretty much everyone knew or at least knew of. He was the star quarterback of the football team and, unlike many other high school athletes, James had true potential. He was practically guaranteed a sports scholarship to his dream college and, if he had continued to improve at football, had a realistic shot at the NFL. Everyone, including the teachers, liked him. James is currently in prison for raping two women.
-Dennis Rader is a college graduate with a BA in Administration of Justice. He married in 1971 and had two children. He held numerous jobs over the years including installing alarm systems for ADT and acting as a census field operations supervisor. Dennis was a cub scout leader and a 30-year member of Christ Lutheran Church, of which he was elected president. He was very well respected by his community. However, Dennis Rader is better known by another name: The BTK Killer. Rader stalked and murdered ten women and was planning to kill again when he was finally caught a few years ago.
The point is that we CANNOT take Julian Assange at face value because a person's public appearance is not indicative of his or her private life. Assange is subject to the same personal failings as anyone else. Maybe he raped those women, maybe it's a smear campaign. However, refusing to acknowledge that there is even a small chance that he is guilty just because he is Julian Assange is not what ATS is about. I'm not asking that everyone start believing the accusations - just that people consider both sides of the story. "I didn't do it" wouldn't fly in any other situation, so why should it be accepted in his case?