Julian Assange’s arrogant claim in his April 12 op-ed, “Why WikiLeaks publishes,” that he has “given up years of my own liberty for the risks we have taken at WikiLeaks to bring truth to the public” was steeped in irony. Mr. Assange went on to compare himself to Joseph Pulitzer, who was indicted for libel in 1909, and rather paradoxically suggested, “It was the truth that set him free.”
Well, Mr. Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012 because he fears extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over an alleged sexual offense. The man who exposes the alleged misdeeds of the world’s most free and powerful nations cannot set himself free because he fears the truth. How surreal is that?
Jack Nargundkar, Germantown
Looking for more than a little shade, Julian Assange waxed rather dimly in his effort to liken his behavior to Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Pulitzer, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jack Anderson. First and foremost, none of the above sought gain or celebrity from their actions. Indeed, their profiles in courage were owned by them, and some paid the price for their courage — unlike Mr. Assange, who has surreptitiously shoved his revelations out from under a rock where he lay hidden.
And now, his effort to shroud himself in the robes of journalistic integrity is an insult and demeans journalists, news organizations and individuals who put their names and reputations on the line and in full view of all to live the meaning and intent of the First Amendment. Mr. Assange fears living the courage of his own convictions and cowardly seeks refuge in an embassy while trying to convince all of his noble intent to serve the cause of liberty.
Paul Pattwell, Red Bank, N.J.