On November 29, 2010 after Julian Assange posted some leaked sensitive documentation on WikiLeaks, Sarah Palin ripped him a new one – equating him to a terrorist and questioning why the US Government didn’t hunt him down like a dog.
Here is a quote taken directly from her Facebook page:
Assange is not a â€œjournalist,â€ any more than the â€œeditorâ€ of al Qaedaâ€™s new English-language magazine Inspire is a â€œjournalist.â€ He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?
Before I go on, let me say that I would also have posted the documents if they were given to me. And for one very good reason. Believe me when I tell you – if I can get my hands on them much, much worse people can too! So whatever the information is, it needs to be acted on immediately. But in fairness, I’d give those affected advance notice before posting it so they could take proactive steps to move people out of harms way.
Incidentally, this model works well in the realm of Cybersecurity. When ethical hackers discover holes in Microsoft or other system security they notify the company first and give them reasonable time to patch the problem before making it public. This ensures that companies have a chance to fix an issue before every amateur in the world is aware of the exploit, but keeps them honest by forcing them to actually fix it! Because it’s likely that some unethical criminals are already aware of the problem and taking advantage of it.
Anyway, getting back to the story at hand, after Sarah Palin essentially advocated using US Government resources to commit crimes in order to silence Assange, on December 21, 2010 she turned around and used information from the very documents she wants to hunt him down for as evidence in a USA Today column that she was allowed to publish:
We suspected this before, but now we know for sure because of leaked diplomatic cables. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia “frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program,” according to these communications.
What’s the point? Its quite simple. In the US we have a legal doctrine often referred to as “fruit from the poison tree“. It essentially prevents the government from using illegally obtained information to prosecute people. So since Palin is so interested in defending individual liberties I think she’s got to choose a side:
- Skewer Assange for leaking documents that were obtained illegally and make some sort of a moral stand for protecting them, then refuse to read them or use anything contained within for any reason whatsoever.
- Applaud Assange for enlightening the world with the documents he posted, and then go through them with a fine toothed comb and use the information contained within them in any way you see fit.
I just find it incredibly hypocritical for her to viscously attack him, and then turn around and use what he provided to help her further her own points in later arguments. Don’t you?