Fast Company

Who's Sticking With WikiLeaks?

... And who has suddenly jumped ship now that founder Julian Assange has been arrested? Our handy infographic helps you see how opinions have shifted over time.

Kit Eaton, Erika Schneider, and Andrew Hur contributed to this post.

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5 Comments

  • Jackson H. Steel

    You can't really call what he's done "treason", since I believe he's an Australian citizen and not a U.S. citizen.

    As for the comments of the Australian government, that has to be one of the dumbest statements I've ever heard. It's akin to blaming a victim of identity/credit card theft for the actions of their stolen, private informations' end user. To put it another way, it's as invalid as a rapist saying, "she shouldn't have work that dress, she clearly wanted it."

  • jerome meyers

    Firstly, I agree. A non-citizen of the United States cannot commit treason against America.

    However, I disagree with your second point. A person does have responsibility for "protecting themself". It is probably wise not to go for your nightly stroll in crime-ridden neighborhoods wearing your Rolex. However, if an individual person does get mugged in this situation, they are not to "blame" legally, but most people would chide them for doing something stupid.

    In the case of the United States Military, however, "chide" is most definitely the wrong word. It is their responsibility to protect their secret documents. You could say that it is in their contract.

    It is my opinion that the US Military is hiding behind the furor that our government is fermenting around wikileaks. Sure, America as a nation can be "outraged" and "incredulous" that "Julian Assange" would release secret government documents. But I find this absurd. Of course, if those documents can be reached, they are going to be released. There is NOTHING surprising there, to me. That is predictable and happens all the time (although not in such mass). What is surprising, to me, and what should be surprising to everyone, is the ease with which these documents were stolen. Not that we know the exact details of the theft (maybe it was actually very sophisticated?), but, all those people who are so "angry" and "outraged" at Julian Assange and Wikileaks, should instead point those emotions at the US Military. Wikileaks is doing what it does, which should come as no surprise. The US Military failed to do what it should have been doing.

  • Chris Reich

    I would like to see us think deeper than 'for' or 'against' issues that tear at the fabric of society.

    The material being published was taken illegally. The publishing of that material could endanger as many lives as are being affected behind the U.S. Department of State's burka of national security.

    So there is a rift, a tear between the public's right to know what the government is doing in their name with their money and protecting those who would sincerely help, at risk of life and limb, rid the world of those who do harm for harm's sake.

    I hope we can look at the pieces instead of the whole. Should Assange be prosecuted for this? Yes. It was a seriously damaging and illegal act. Should we, the public look at these documents and question our government? Yes. The cat is out of the bag and we need to take a good look at the cat.

    Neither act excuses the other. Assange's theft of secret documents is not excused by his motives, which aren't really clear. And the government is certainly not innocent in its hypocritical policies which now see the light of day.

    I draw a few conclusions and am still formulating more.
    1. The U.S. needs better document security.
    2. The U.S. military has insufficient civilian oversight.
    3. The U.S. military leadership is seriously lacking military skill focusing instead on political savvy. (note: We have been fighting in Afghanistan for more than 10 years. I cannot imagine tangling with a nuclear armed Iran.)
    4. Democrats and Republicans have very little differences. Little has changed since Obama took office.
    5. The American people need to look with realistic eyes at what we are doing around the world. People must separate ideology from their evaluation of right and wrong.
    6. Assange needs to be prosecuted by the U.S. government. Obama shows a lack of will and courage, again, for not immediately asking Holder to begin action against Assange.
    7. The American people need to get out from behind "supporting the troops" and question the action of the U.S. military and the U.S. government.

    This is yet another reflection of the fall from the position of leadership the U.S. is experiencing. As in all falls, the momentum accelerates quickly. From education to health care to economics to political clout, the U.S. is falling fast. The fall can slowed, perhaps even stopped, by ethics, education and a new national will to clean house.

    Can we do it? Not as long as we 'the people' are as insanely divided. As long as we cling to issues that divide us emotionally but don't harm us as a nation, we will let greed and the lust for power destroy the country. It's time for Christians to tolerate gay marriage and time for black to tolerate white and liberal to tolerate conservative. Let's put those things aside and focus on the issues that are destroying the country before it's too late.

    Chris Reich
    www.TeachU.com

  • james FC

    Every entity, be it individual, government, business, etc has "secrets". Assange is basically committing identity theft. On a national/government scale that becomes treason.

  • Glen McDermott

    Get it right here
    (Reuters) - The Australian government Wednesday blamed the United States, not the WikiLeaks founder, for the unauthorized release of about 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables and said those who originally leaked the documents were legally liable.
    Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also said the leaks raised questions over the "adequacy" of U.S. security over the cables.
    "Mr (Julian) Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorized release of 250,000 documents from the U.S. diplomatic communications network," Rudd told Reuters in an interview.