If Words Could Kill

by Nima Shirazi / December 18th, 2010

I want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

— Bradley Manning

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.

—  George Bernard Shaw

Ever since WikiLeaks became a household name this past summer, following the release of 77,000 secret U.S. documents relating to the ongoing occupation and destruction of Afghanistan, many American politicians and pundits have been calling for blood. Despite then-top military commander General Stanley McCrystal’s own admission in March of this year, the U.S. military in Afghanistan has “shot an amazing number of people” even though “none has ever proven to be a threat,” the ire resulting from the activities of WikiLeaks is directed at the whistle-blowers themselves, rather than at those actually implicated in war crimes as shown by the leaked documents.

In their eternal allegiance to government secrecy, aggressive imperialism, and American exceptionalism, numerous WikiLeaks’ critics have been outraged over the publication of U.S. government documents. While accusing WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, of everything from espionage to terrorism to treason (Assange isn’t a U.S. citizen), they hold him responsible for the deaths of both soldiers and civilians and have even publicly suggested and supported threats to assassinate him.

The U.S. State Department claimed that the release of classified cables would “at a minimum…place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals” and Attorney General Eric Holder stated his belief that “national security of the United States has been put at risk. The lives of people who work for the American people have been put at risk. The American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that I believe are arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way.”

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