Mr. Assange told Time magazine last week, "It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it's our goal to achieve a more just society." If leaks cause U.S. officials to "lock down internally and to balkanize," they will "cease to be as efficient as they were."
This worldview has precedent. Ted Kaczynski, another math-obsessed anarchist, sent bombs through the mail for almost 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23. He offered to stop in 1995 if media outlets published his Unabomber Manifesto. The 35,000-word essay, "Industrial Society and Its Future," objected to the "industrial-technological system" that causes people "to behave in ways that are increasingly remote from the natural pattern of human behavior." He's serving a life sentence for murder.
Mr. Assange doesn't mail bombs, but his actions have life-threatening consequences. Consider the case of a 75-year-old dentist in Los Angeles, Hossein Vahedi. According to one of the confidential cables released by WikiLeaks, Dr. Vahedi, a U.S. citizen, returned to Iran in 2008 to visit his parents' graves. Authorities confiscated his passport because his sons worked as concert promoters for Persian pop singers in the U.S. who had criticized the theocracy.
The cable reported that Dr. Vahedi decided to escape by horseback over the mountains of western Iran and into Turkey. He trained by hiking the hills above Tehran. He took extra heart medication. But when he fell off his horse, he was injured and nearly froze. When he made it to Turkey, the U.S. Embassy intervened to stop him being sent back to Iran.
"This is very bad for my family," Dr. Vahedi told the New York Daily News on being told about the leak of the cable naming him and describing his exploits. Tehran has a new excuse to target his relatives in Iran. "How could this be printed?"
Excellent question. It's hard being collateral damage in the world of WikiLeaks.
Crovitz: Julian Assange, Information Anarchist - WSJ.com