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Letter: Assange deserves praise for revealing war crimes

Anthony Cardinale’s “Another Voice” article on Julian Assange reveals his own qualifications as nothing more than a propagandist himself – and a very poor one at that.

Julian Assange released classified U.S. documents to the public, which had been stolen by Pvt. Chelsea Manning. What those documents show is that the U.S. military committed war crimes against Iraqi civilians during the Iraq War.

Should this fact be covered-up to protect U.S. “national security?” Or, does the American public have a right to know about wrongdoing by our government and its military? Are we now living under a military dictatorship, where crimes are to be held secret from the public? Can democracy exist if this is the case?

If one looks at historical precedents, should the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War have been kept secret on the grounds of “national security?” And what about the Pentagon Papers stolen and released by Daniel Ellsberg, which were printed in the Washington Post and the New York Times? Didn’t the release of those documents ultimately be acclaimed as a historic prize of American journalism, and also prove to be a catalyst for bringing that horrific war to an end?

How does Assange’s release of the Pentagon documents on the Iraq War differ from that historical precedent?

In my view, Assange is a journalist, and a courageous one at that. On the other hand, so-called “journalists” like Cardinale show their true stripes by essentially acting as propagandistic apologists for war crimes (by their desire to conceal them,) and by attacking genuine journalists who believe that humanity has a right to know the truth, no matter how ugly it is.

Tim McDonald

Amherst

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