What the US should do with Assange (and it’s not what you think)


International Man of Mystery Queen of Drama Julian Assange is trying to get back into the news today.

Julian Assange fears that he will be sent to Guantanamo Bay and ultimately executed if he is extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, his legal team said yesterday.

I recalled this quote I saw the other day.

Gideon Rachman at the Financial Times says WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange deserves a medal rather than prison. “He and WikiLeaks have done America a massive favour,” he writes, “by inadvertently debunking decades-old conspiracy theories about its foreign policy.”

And let’s not forget the most ridiculous theories of all. Surely somewhere in all these leaked files there’d be references to a war for oil in Iraq if the war was, in fact, about oil. Likewise, if 9/11 was an inside job — or a joint Mossad–al-Qaeda job — there should be at least some suggestive evidence in all those classified documents. If the U.S. government lied, rather than guessed wrong, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, or if NATO invaded Afghanistan to install a pipeline, this information would have to be written down somewhere. The State and Defense department bureaucracies are far too vast to have no records of what they’re up to.

Conspiracy theories, though, as someone once said, are history for stupid people. Those who actually believe this stuff — whether about American foreign policy, the president’s birth certificate, or whatever — think the historical record is part of the con job, that anyone who debunks the conspiracy is either deluded or in on it.

Here’s what the US should do.

Once Assange is extradited, take him straight to Langly. Put him in a room for an hour or two, then pin a medal on his chest and walk him out the door after announcing he’s been rewarded for his service to the country.

He can then spend the short rest of his public life futily explaining to his (former) conspiracy loving audience that nothing happened.

End of problem.

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