Saturday, March 5, 2011

President George W. Bush On Wikileaks' "Grave Harm"

by Alan M. Dershowitz
March 4, 2011 at 8:59 am
(reprinted from Hudson New York)

There is a worldwide debate regarding the leaks of diplomatic cables attributed to Wiki Leaks Julian Assange. Have the leaks done harm or have they done good? Many believe that they have done some harm and some good and that the good outweighs the harm, especially in open societies with few secrets. Others disagree.

Now former US President George W. Bush has weighed in on this debate. He has said that Julian Assange, the founder of Wiki Leaks, "has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States." He made this statement, through a spokesman, in explaining why he was cancelling a speech he had agreed to deliver to the Young Presidents Organization. He said he "had no desire to share a forum with" Assange, even though Assange was to speak by videoconference and they would not literally be sharing a platform or forum.

President Bush is, of course, not alone in expressing negative views about Assange and Wiki Leaks, and all citizens of the world should have the freedom to express their personal opinions on the leaking of diplomatic cables. This is a healthy debate that will continue to play out around the world, especially in the context of recent developments in the Middle East.

But when a former President states, categorically, that Assange has "willfully and repeatedly done great harm" to our country, such a statement has the potential to distort the processes of justice...

click here for the rest of the story:

Mr. Dershowitz is a constitutional law expert and a Harvard Law professor.

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