Julian Assange, the man behind the WikiLeaks dump of secret US State Department cables, has been frank about his reasons for releasing thousands of classified -and stolen -- documents.
Assange says he wants to seriously damage the United States. If this damage forwards America's ultimate destruction, so be it. The son of leftist America-haters, Assange was born and weaned during the Cold War. Then the wrong side won. What the superpower Soviet Union failed to do with its armies, he, a super-empowered individual, will accomplish via the information anarchy of the Internet.
If Assange's history-shaping goal seems grandiose and detached from reality, indeed it is. However, once you understand the man's religion, his megalomania and solipsism become a bit more comprehensible if even more reprehensible.
Like other anti-American cranks on the planet, Assange holds firm in his warped faith that the U.S. is the leading source of global evil. The roots of this religion run deep, beginning with 18th century European aristocrats who despised the American Revolution. The anti-Americanism of Nazis, communists, tribalists, anarchists and now militant Islamists all rehash the same tropes, with their semi-schizoid baseline being the U.S. is simultaneously a vast authoritarian conspiracy and a heterogeneous menagerie of infidel-cowboy-capitalist idiots who dogmatically resist enlightened social policies.
Assange argues his revelations will force this conglomerate American monster to become more secretive and authoritarian. Limiting access to information, in order to stop future leaks, will reduce the monster's secretive and authoritarian effectiveness. The monster's "security state" will dumb down, and --here's the moment of religious rapture in Assange's prophecy -- this will increase global justice.
Assange also links this shackling of America to creating peace. Don't snicker too long. There are a lot of tenured gray-haired profs with ponytails who teach this dreck at notable universities and get paid for it.
Assange understands media grandstanding, but he doesn't understand people and certainly doesn't understand how American diplomats contribute to maintaining peace.
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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