Too much freedom in America

There’s too much freedom, a few constitutional amendments need tossing out and the government needs greater powers — this would seem to sum up the views of the majority of Americans… if the latest polling is reliable.

The American public is highly critical of the recent release of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks Web site and would support the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by U.S. authorities, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

Most of those polled – 68 percent – say the WikiLeaks’ exposure of government documents about the State Department and U.S. diplomacy harms the public interest. Nearly as many – 59 percent – say the U.S. government should arrest Assange and charge him with a crime for releasing the diplomatic cables.

Assange was scheduled to appear in a London courtroom Tuesday to formally contest an extradition order on sexual assault charges in Sweden. U.S. federal authorities are reportedly investigating whether Assange could be charged with violating the Espionage Act by releasing the documents, but his potential extradition to Sweden could significantly complicate any U.S. attempt to quickly try him.

A generational gap was evident among those polled, with younger Americans raised in the Internet age expressing distinct views on the matter. Nearly a third of those ages 18 to 29 say the release of the U.S. diplomatic cables serves the public interest, double the proportion of those older than 50 saying so. When it comes to Assange, these younger adults are evenly split: Forty-five percent say he should be arrested by the United States; 46 percent say it is not a criminal matter. By contrast, those age 30 and older say he should be arrested by a whopping 37-point margin.

As always, the polling information is frustrating as much because of what it doesn’t show as by what it reveals. The answers to these follow-up questions might have helped clarify who was dumber — the pollsters or those being polled:
1. If you believe the release of the cables damaged the public interest, can you list the top five most damaging revelations?
2. If you believe the release of the cables damaged the public interest, can you explain whether you see any distinction between the interests of the American people and the interests of the US government?
3. If you would like to see Julian Assange arrested, can you explain what crime you think he committed?
4. If you think he committed a crime, do you believe that the same charges should be brought against the editors of the New York Times and other newspapers that published the cables?
5. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Can you explain your understanding of these freedoms and do you believe that the US Constitution can be set aside whenever the government says that national security is at stake?

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7 thoughts on “Too much freedom in America

  1. Donna Bubb

    Why do the media, journalists, polical pundits, etc. give so much space to “the American people feel, the American people think, the American people believe” ctc. Bullshit! The
    American people are not stupid. We know who’s lying, stealing, cheating. Go door to door
    and find out what the American people really think, not with random, manufactured polls.
    Assange and Wikileaks has opened the door to the lies, stealing, cheating and the rats
    involved can’t take it. The American people are not condemning Assange and Wikileaks.
    The military, diplomats, congress, white house, FBI, CIA, — the usual culprits are up to
    their old tricks of trying to convince the world the American people. What the hell do they
    know or think or care about the American people.

  2. Vince J.

    I couldn’t say it better. Paul Woodward made the argument on point 1 to 5.

    I would love to read the current US cables preasuring the little Bitrish Government and those smorgosbord heads from scadinavia…

  3. Werner Simon

    MSM “news” stories are chockfull of dumb stories of “polls” about what the American public think!!!…..”Experts” conducting these polls can manipulate any outcome to suit the results they desire!!!! Audaciously, the MSM consistently throw such garbage our way and think this subtefuge actually will stick!!

  4. Miriam

    we can speculate over and over about those “Polls”…who’s organizing them, who’s funding them and what propagandistic purpose they might have…but even so, we all need to remember these very basic and essential facts: Assange is not a US citizen;
    Julian Assange is NOT a resident alien;
    Wikileaks RECEIVED THAT information, not secured any of it, itself;
    Wikileaks – like the New York Times, Der Spiegal et al – published that material.

    Assange was charged in SWEDEN with a sexual crime not espionage, etc.
    He left for England. Then Swedish prosecutor threw out their charges against Assange, in Stockholm. A Swedish politician was unsatisfied & took the case to Gothenburg.
    Meanwhile, Assange voluntarily turned himself in to the British police for questioning, but was instead arrested and put into solitary confinement– over a crime that does not even exist in England.
    … thanks to :
    a) US Dept of Justice
    b) EU Extradition Act of 2003– (European decision to co-operate / extradite anyone charged in 1 country if they left for another country, after a crime was committed – intention was specific for use in ‘terror’ related cases.
    (thanks to THC)>

  5. Norman

    Well gang, do you believe what the media, which is controlled by but a few rich sycophants of the U.S.Government players? Do you also believe that your Grand Parents should dive off the face of the earth so the people who brought the mighty U.S. economy nearly to its knees don’t want to stop screwing you? Do you want your children and their children to live in poverty, homelessness, so the T.B.T.F.’s, Politician’s, any other people who practice screwing the average people? I could go on, but I believe some of you have gotten the point I try to make here.

  6. seamus o'bannion

    Julian Assange and any whistle-blower who passes him information are the tragic heroes of our time and they will be made to pay a high price. The Government of the United States is a government that has taken upon itself to violate its own constitution; to arrest, torture, and assassinate at will its own citizens; to invade countries against the injunction of the United Nations Charter for the interests of its owners – the extractive industries and any state or corporation who gives enough money to its politicians, eg Israel. Anyone who undermines that government is a patriot.


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