People should be permitted to know the truth in a free society

The domestic media coverage surrounding the recent release of classified United States diplomatic cables by whistleblower news organizationWikiLeaks has simply echoed the sentiments of disgruntled government officials who are clearly embarrassed at the fact their habitual disregard for the law and complete lack of transparency has been so acutely documented.

The editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has had his life threatened by many high-level politicians who falsely refer to him as a “terrorist.”

Under Title 22, Chapter 38 of the U.S. Code, terrorism is defined as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.”

Any competent American is aware of the fact that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press … .”

It is quite disconcerting that a government official is either not aware of this fact, or is willing to incite murder for a constitutionally protected activity.

The government has been quick to claim that the cables released by WikiLeaks put the lives of U.S. soldiers and allies in danger.

Yet Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has stated that “not one single soldier or informant has been in danger from any of the WikiLeaks releases. That risk has been largely overblown,” and he said that those claims are “a script that they [the government] roll out every time there’s a leak of any sort.”

As Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas recently stated in regard to the matter, “In a free society, we’re supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we’re in big trouble.”

Eric Hafner

Red Bank