Forgiveness 20 Years Later: Ruby Ridge

Articles on Sarah Weaver declaring forgiveness for what was probably one of the most poorly botched implementations of action by U.S. law enforcement in the history of the United States.

http://news.yahoo.com/20-years-ruby-ridge-theres-forgiveness-200635491.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48725729/ns/us_news/

I must confess that for many years, my views of Ruby Ridge were that it was a bunch of Whacko’s (a.k.a. Branch Davidians) that got into a firefight with some over-zealous Federal law enforcement officers. It was only 2-3 years ago that I actually read up on the events, how many accounts of injustice, corruption, and either misfortunate series of events or a deliberate and failed attempt to manipulate the situation which escalated into a tragedy.

One that most do not realize, was reviewed and ended up in a settlement with the Weaver family and associates receiving millions in reparation payments. If you’ve never actually read up on the Ruby Ridge incident, consider doing so. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge

While in no way do I advocate many of the beliefs that the Weaver family adhered too, I believe everyone’s right to the freedom of expression should be tolerated. 

***

But what I find even more disturbing, is that it’s looking like we are setting ourselves up for a very similar repeat of the incident involving Julian Assange.

For those unfamiliar with Julian Assange, he ran a website called Wikileaks. This site allowed for the anonymous submission of information; essentially becoming a whistle blower’s outlet source.

Most of the information released was what I’d consider non-critical. However, a lot of it revealed a policy of bullying on the part of U.S. diplomacy. And many of the details left more than one nation’s leaders red in the face.

So why do I feel like the same thing is happening again?

The U.S. government wants Julian Assange. Some would call him a spy, but I would not. Frankly, if the information is so embarrassing one needs to question whether said actions were legitimately taken on the behalf of the people. (And yes, I know there were concerns about national security items, but I believe most of that to be a red herring to distract from the behavioral items.)

Julian, who let me be up front about this, comes off as a typical ***hole, attended a conference and wound up sleeping with two women in the same week. Who seemingly were pleased with themselves until they discovered they weren’t alone.  Rape charges were pressed. Now mind you, apparently Sweden has a much different concept of rape than most of us. Who usually define it as the engaging of intercource or sexual activity through force or coercion. Well, in this case, it was the failure to use a condom at one point during a night of lovemaking which constituted rape.  Mind you, one woman has already withdrawn the charges.

Assange is currently holed up in the embassy of Ecuador, in London. Meanwhile, London has made threats to revoke Ecuador’s diplomatic status and send troops in to seize Julian Assange.  In an attempt to extradite him to Sweden for questioning. Questioning that legaly could be done in London, and for which Assange has agreed to do in Sweden on one simple condition. He be given a promise that if he returns to Sweden he will not be simply extradited to the United States.  Not a very hard thing to ask for, if this is truly related to the incidents of the accused (and mostly already rebutted) rape charge.

Julian Assange is now Interpol’s #2 ( or maybe #1) most wanted person. Whatever ranking he is, he’s on the front page of their home page. And one must really wonder, with all the truly brutal rapes and abuses that happen around the world, why this incident would land a man on the top of Interpol’s list? It wouldn’t, and Assange is smart enough to know that. I would like to think every American is smart enough to realize that as well, sadly, many comments scattered across the internets make it clear we are not.

But this is a very sketchy incident in my books. While the soldier who provided certain information to the Wikileaks site is indeed liable for treason and sentence under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), I do not believe Assange is guilty. First, he is not a U.S. citizen, so no treason has occurred. Nor, did the event transpire on U.S. soil.  Second, his role was more akin to a member of the media such as a reporter receiving a tip, and simply making the world aware. You then must ask yourself, does the U.S. government have the right to trump the 1st Amednment’s “Freedom of the Press”. And even if it does have the right to demand secrecy or information be pulled in the name of National Security, does it have the right to seek out and punish a member of the media for releasing such information publicly, merely because it was embarrassing?

I fear we may find ourselves in a far more embarrassing moment if behaviors continue with their present lack of sense. When a nation like the United Kingdom is threatening the diplomatic status of another nation’s embassy over trumped up allegations that are no relation to the real reason this man is wanted.  What happens if we see a day when troops storm the Ecuador embassy, and we see photos of Assange lying dead in his own blood.  Is that liberty? Is that American?  Or will that simply send a message to the press, don’t play by our rules, and you’ll forfeit your life.

That is far from the American ideals our Founding Father’s held…

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Published in: on August 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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