The arrest of Julian Assange has, quite predictably, rekindled a lot of old, but still simmering arguments. Those of us who are in favor of free speech and believe that the government keeps too many secrets, like about shooting people from helicopters, and rigging elections (although Hillary Clinton was not, technically, a government official at the time, she was definitely well connected with the ‘deep state,’ and lots of government officials actually were involved with closing polling places early, closing polling places entirely, culling people from the voting rolls or changing their party affiliation, forcing them to vote with provisional ballots which were then thrown away) are outraged at his arrest and think it’s a travesty of justice.
Plenty of others, who I’ve been hearing from on Facebook, are saying things like “the creep deserves whatever he gets.” For the most part, these are Hillary supporters, who seem to think that Assange cost them the election.
Of course, their argument is somewhat minimized by their also having accused Bernie supporters, Bernie Sanders himself, Jill Stein of the Green Party, and, of course, Russia of causing her defeat.
But, I’m willing to entertain the possibility that Assange, by reporting things that happened to be true, may have damaged Hillary’s campaign. I doubt it, because no objective poll from July to November showed her with a significant lead over Trump, she blew off half of her own party, ran a lackluster campaign, and never gave anybody a real good reason to vote for her, but I’ll entertain the thought. For argument’s sake.
Let’s say that Assange’s reporting of Hillary Clinton’s actual election rigging, her refusal to let the party rank and file’s voice be heard, cost her the election.
They are not angry with Hillary Clinton for having done those things. They are not angry with Clinton for having lied to them, saying “there is no rigging.” No, they’re cool with that. They are angry that she got caught, and they are angry at the person who caught her.
It’s as if they were neck deep in a pyramid scheme, but didn’t realize it, and the FBI jumped in and busted it up, and then they are mad at the FBI, because that worthless swamp land in Florida that they were promised was filled with golf courses and condominiums, is now revealed to be worthless. Even though it’s not the FBI that made it worthless.
It’s like if your girlfriend was cheating on you with the whole football team and a friend tells you about it and then you’re angry at your friend.
I can kind of understand the emotion. But when you look at it objectively, they’re really off target.
You should never shoot the messenger.