Assange is upset because Obama spoke about free speech in the Arab world, at least in the context of the violence that erupted after the controversial film “The Innocence of Muslims” appeared on YouTube. In his view, Obama has “done more to criminalize free speech than any other U.S. president.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Obama defended the right to free speech while also condemning “The Innocence of Muslims,” which he made clear did not represent the opinions of all Americans or even our government. In fact, I believe he’s referred to this film as “repugnant” on more than one occasion.
I’m no expert on the Assange situation, either, but I’m fairly certain he was persecuted not for sharing information freely, but for releasing classified information that could be threatening to America’s national security. If this was indeed the case, then I can completely understand Obama’s problem with Assange. Free speech is important, but so is the safety of our country’s citizens.
Of course, Assange also has the rape charge in Sweden to consider. Taking focus off of that isn’t a bad tactic, and I’m sure that’s what Assange is trying to do.
All of this strikes me as kind of funny since right now, Assange is trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in England. If he so much as steps out for a breath of fresh air, British authorities will immediately arrest him and ship him to Sweden to face the music.
If I were Assange, then I would probably try to shift some attention to Obama, too. And who knows? Maybe he can distract enough people and finally mount some kind of escape from his self-inflicted captivity.
At least then he would get a break from all that Ecuadorian food, which must be getting old by now!