Dick Cheney and Julian Assange are certainly not two peas in a pod. But both allegedly committed crimes by exposing secret information. In Assange’s case it was a few hundred thousand State Department cables and in Cheney’s case it was the outing of a covert CIA agent.
There are some differences, however. We can only speculate on Assange’s motives. His web site states “WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public.” Cheney’s motives were clearly vindictive. He exposed the identity of a female CIA agent as retribution against the agent’s husband for pointing out that Cheney’s rationale to attack Iraq was falsely contrived.
Most politicians are pontificating that Assange’s leaks put hundreds of lives at risk. So far, this is just media speculation. Cheney’s adventures in Iraq have already cost thousands of American lives, busted the deficit, and left many more thousands maimed for life. We still don’t know, and probably never will, the additional impact on America’s covert operations and how many embedded agents are in peril.
Assange is funded by thousands of internet donations from all over the world. Cheney is receiving two pensions – one from the U.S. taxpayer and another from Halliburton (also funded by the US taxpayer).
Assange committed his alleged crimes outside of the United States, so the jurisdiction of American courts is murky. Cheney committed his alleged crimes from the White House, defiling that iconic institution.
Self-righteous American politicians are calling for Assange to be executed without trial. Yet, Dick Cheney and his ilk will never be brought to trial for their alleged crimes.
It’s time to remove the words that adorn the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.”