Thursday, December 2, 2010

So who's hiding place will fail first: Julian Assange or Osama Bin Laden?


Mr. D said...

Bin Laden is doing pretty well in the hiding game. I think Julian may have a few more problems. He's got more people chasing him than the Blues Brothers did.

Gino said...

upon further thought...
having ALL these people after you must be kinda cool, and without having to blow shit up first.

Brian said...

I was actually thinking about this very same question recently, or rather in the form of if the US (or other western authorities) successfully capture and prosecute Assange while OBL remains (allegedly) alive and free, what would it signify?

At first pass it's a silly comparison, because it's not as though they chase one person at a time (lots of petty and not-so petty criminals have been captured and prosecuted that aren't OBL since 9.11.01). On the other hand, the resources available to international manhunts are very expensive and finite. If a substantial portion of that went to prosecuting Assange for (perhaps) violations of the Espionage Act (which is probably the only relevant statute) at the expense of the pursuit of criminals for whom the killing of innocent people is both their stated goal and demonstrated capability...well I don't think it would look very good.

And frankly, I think the feds know this. I don't think anyone who matters has the stomach to risk making a political martyr out of Assange.

It's easy to forget, but Al Qaida is basically a few dozen--maybe a few hundred--very dedicated radicals. They have many sympathizers, but very few people willing to take up their cause in a meaningful way. And comparatively few willing to condone their tactics, much less practice them. And even among people that would be classified as "Islamist", there are many people that don't subscribe to AQ's specific ideology.

I think that the sentiment behind what Wikileaks is doing transcends an awful lot of traditional national, political, and ideological lines. Assange has no shortage of supporters.

And the fact that he hasn't murdered anyone is not exactly trivial.

Palm boy said...

OBL: Used by the CIA to damage the US. Now dead, although with a $25 million bounty.
Assange: Leakamagator, high profile and mobile. Possibly also CIA handled.

Neither will have any significant action against them in the future :D