Thursday, December 2, 2010

Julian Assange Must Follow the Example of Christ

US Supreme Court Building. By Duncan Lock, license cc asa 3.0 unported

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
-Matthew 18: 6, the word of our Lord

One of the reasons folks have a hard time understanding espionage laws is they see law as about morality, they see law as about preventing immoral behavior and punishing the wicked. But that is not what government is for, nor has it ever been for that. The purpose of law is to resolve disputes, to settle differences in a manner that is open, transparent, fair, and respectful to the rights of everyone involved.

The fact is that the government has a real difference with Julian Assange. They had secrets, Julian released them, they had protocols, Julian broke them, and now they're friends can't trust them, they can't look at each other, spies and envoys are fleeing, and the worlds mightiest powers and superpower know not how to handle their own states. Right or wrong, this is where things stand.

Now, there are countries that don't utilize Espionage laws much. Israel and Russia both immediately come to mind. Both, instead of finding and prosecuting spies in a court of law, send out secret assasins, with ice picks, guns, poisons, and all manners of traps, destroy the peace, and when they find their victim, leave no trace of him, and give him not a second, not a minute to answer for his sake. If they make a mistake, too bad, the wrong person is dead. They don't tell his or her family either, and all the citizens are left questioning what happened to their fellow man. Without a doubt, if Americas ability to try spies in a court of law is interfered with, they will have to, for the sake of preserving their government, resort to much the same.

Julian, we all know what you stand for, or at least say you do, transparency, but what you fail to see is that this law is also created for transparency, and in fact, the most important kind of transparency, the ability of individual citizens to see what they are charged with, and society to see what happens to them, along with the ability of all to make their decisions in a conscious, responsible manner. You have angered a lot of powerful people, and if you continue to be successful, you will anger only more. If you do not turn yourself in now, you will be bodybagged, and no one will ever hear from you again, but if you do turn yourself in, whether you are imprisoned or killed, you will be so before the common man and all eyes to see, and all minds to know how arguments are settled in a civil society.

Civil Disobedience is a fine and honorable thing, but it involves taking the consequences of your actions, in part so that fights don't get out of hand. Lets face it Julian, if you die the wrong way, something else dies with you, but if you die the right way, transparency only grows, and you can speak for your own defense in court, and stand by your actions, and speak, for all the nation and world to hear, about your values and what you find right. And you will go to jail, and possibly even be put to death, but if you stay out there on your own running, people who are very good at this stuff will get to you, and they will kill you, in a way that destroys everything that you stand for.

There were four Roman soldiers who confessed a faith that their commander could not stand. He had them put in to a freezing lake, and said that if any of them gave up their faith, they would be given a warm bath, but if they didn't, they would be left there to freeze to death. Three of them stayed there, holding hands as brothers, to die the whole night through, but one just couldn't stand it anymore, and came out, and renounced his faith. And yet, all four of them died that night. Tell me Julian, which one will you be? Will you join your brethren of all the other convicts at jail, and spread the light of wisdom and righteousness to the people you are called to, or will you die shamefully at the hands of a foreign spy, possibly even painfully, as a former KGB agent died not long ago.

Two thousand years ago, a visionary far greater then yourself, or anyone now alive, was crucified above a hill in Calvary. He didn't fight the police when they came to get him, and he didn't complain about his fate either, nor did he lie in court to get off easy. He accepted what he had came to do, took his cup of sorrows in Gethsemane, and went up that hill cross in hand for all things to come to pass. Julian, if you really do care about transparency to the extent that you claim, you must do likewise. The worse thing that could happen here is for America, already weakened, to be hamstrung by those who think they know better, and with them, all the world to where espionage laws can no longer truly exist. They are an important part of transparency. Law isn't about what's right or wrong - it's about a peaceful, serene society that is transparent and honorable, and when you accept this, you can have your fate handed to you fittingly, and become the hero you were born to be.

Update 12/6/2010 - It seems, according to AOL News, Assange has done a wicked and cowardly thing. Holding over 1.4 gigabytes of what Assange considers worthy secrets, Assange, rather then turn himself in as he should, is withholding them, and thus his objective, from the public as a bargaining chip to secure his freedom. If this is how it appears, Julian has much to be ashamed of.


Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

A superb post, Jeremy.

Jeremy Janson said...

I was just studying for a test and took about 30 minutes away because inspiration stuck like lightning!

Agit8r said...

"What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs."

-- Luke 12:3

since we're quoting bible verses and all... ;)

Jeremy Janson said...

I didn't say what he did was wrong, Agit8r, but the whole thing about civil disobedience is you have to be willing to take the consequences.

Jeremy Janson said...

A little supplemental reading:

Meredith said...

Why is it that he must hold fairness hostage? I think he despises what he is doing, I think he wants to divuldge all the information he has. But he is trying to receive "right" and "fair" treatment for what he is accused of (rape). As far as espionage laws, that is a different topic. I believe in what he has done and continues to do. As a news anchor states "Keep them honest". If there weren't people like Julian out there, there would be no moral grounds left to argue about.