As Julian Assange faces a revised indictment, much ado is made in the media about an assault on the 1st Amendment. Let me be clear here, I think that Julian Assange is filth. Nothing he has done has accomplished anything he purported to be his aims. No hinted promise he has ever made as to something big happening has ever come to pass. He took advantage of his Ecuadorian hosts and repaid their kindness with disdain. That said, is the impending prosecution of Mr. Assange really an assault on the 1st Amendment?
In 1917, the United States had declared war on Imperial Germany. The nation was gripped in a patriotic fervor in which the Wilson Administration did not ask for citizen support, it commanded it. Congress passed two laws which made it a crime in the United States, punishable with imprisonment, to make a comment or display an attitude that was “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language against the Constitution, the flag, the Armed Forces, and American institutions.”
Now, had Mr. Assange committed is actions in 1917 you can see where things could have been a bit of a sticky wicket for him. But for Robert Goldstein, who was at least honest about his intentions, it was a nightmare from which he never recovered…
This week has seen the 101st anniversary of the assassination Archduke Ferdinand, which sparked World War I. The Great War was a veritable cornucopia of lessons about how to not do things, from diplomacy to alliances to tactics and even Grand strategy. But it was also a mano a mano conflict, before technology ruled the battlefields. One of the saddest legacy’s of the 1st World War is the blatant and open racism that President Woodrow Wilson displayed towards African-American Troops serving in the US Army.
Caesar Rodney made his famous ride this week in 1776. Few people know of him, or why he did what he did. He is a great example of the truism that there are many people in out history who did great things, but aren’t recalled like the giants of history who – in many cases – did less for the cause.