Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reasonable minds can differ

I've gotten some interesting feedback on my posts regarding Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Many of the commenters disagree with my position on what Mr. Assange has done. And that's fine with me. I want this blog to be a forum - and you can't have meaningful discussion unless someone disagrees with you.

I have long believed that it's entirely possible for two reasonable-minded folks to be polar opposites on a given issue. I also believe that it's entirely possible for those folks to have a well-reasoned debate on the issue. I would hope that the debates are never resolved for it's much more interesting when people don't agree on every issue every day.

Mr. Gregory Boop is an attorney who disagrees with my position on Mr. Assange and Wikileaks and he puts forth a well-reasoned response.
Hey brother, I am in agreement with most of everything you post. And, I deal daily with the complete destruction of 4, 5, 6th, Amendment rights as posited in your blog. But, I wholly disagree on your position on Assange. Imagine your conversations with prosecutors becoming public. Please. Think about: "can we get him/her on intensive probation with AA meetings?" Meanwhile... Client tells you no problem. You are working both confidence...for your client. With a guarantee of confidentiality. Assange is a hacker/criminal who finds that basic tenant of common/international law to be subject to attack. And his sex crimes were easily answered if he went back and answered... As an aside, when/if our kids need to defend Australia... I hope we all remember where Fox and Assange come from.
I may not agree with his premise and I might think that his analogy is wrong -- but I respect his argument. Mr. Mark Altman is another person who disagrees with me on Mr. Assange (and on other issues) but, he, too, makes a reasonable argument that I can respect.

You guys are missing the damage he has done to diplomacy the world over. Without the ability to communicate behind the scenes without the world finding out about it, diplomacy is ineffective. When you live in a representative democracy it means you don't get to know everything even if you are REALLY curious. You elect people who hire and appoint people, who act on your behalf. 
Given the fact me, my brothers (both biological and in arms), and now my sons, are the ones who have served now since 1985 and will fight the war he pushed us closer to, I hope both those knuckleheads (especially Manning) rot in jail.

I understand where Mr. Altman is coming from. I also respect, but disagree, with his argument about governmental secrecy. Do our elected officials and the people they appoint really act in our best interest? Is it really in our best interest to be sending our young people to die in a war that has no real purpose? What's the end game? How do we even know when it's over?

But then there are people like this who appear to have no capacity for reasoned debate:
So I guess you have no problem with people's lives being placed in danger by some arrogant little prick with some nameless grudge against your own country? Are you so naive as to think that all governments should operate transparently all the time? I guess those Afghans and Iraqis that helped coalition forces are just SOL for trying to make their countries better places by helping get rid of terrorists? The Taliban has already announced they are going to kill anyone whose name they find, but I guess since they are just Afghans, oh well? As for all the companies that are refusing to do business with Wikileaks, that's their decision. Perhaps they feel more a sense of loyalty to this country than people like you do. Of course, remember that your nice life of being educated and well off and having the right to spew your crap was fought for and earned by the generations before you that did the dirty work and made the hard decisions and paved your way. Your liberal rantings and whining make me want to puke. I hope to hell that the next terrorist attack gets you or someone you love. Maybe that will get your attention.

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