• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 17 comments on Why Julian Assange and WikiLeaks Aren’t Heroes

  1. Public figures should expect people to be constantly trying to find dirt on them and thus, they more than anyone else in our society should be on their best behavior at all times. My parents always told us “if you do not want to be embarrassed by your behavior then don’t do anything you will regret later”. Hillary and her cronies at the DNC knew the potential ramifications of their behavior so it is ironic that they are now being painted as the victims of biased transparency in a pathetic effort to excuse their own indiscretions. All of this could have easily been avoided if they had all followed protocol, had respect for decorum and done nothing that could ever come back to embarrass them.

  2. [Assange] never speaks ill of [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin, he never speaks ill of the Chinese. He has an agenda, which is not pure transparency.

    Geez, I guess you never saw wikileak. I know for sure it has chinese gov censorship docs and wikileak is banned in China. I am a chinese and I saw the docs.

    Who is the one with an “agenda” here?

    Also if they went 100% transparent the US gov is sure to not use those info against them, yeah right.

    1. Assange does not even COMMENT, wikileaks just publishes authentic material that other people have either said or cabled or whatever, but NEVER without the proof. He is NOT a USA Citizen and therefore NOT subject to it’s laws and that has them very annoyed because they would like to crucify him for revealing to the world some deeply disturbing elements of American policy that the US Government would rather you DID not know. Would you rather NOT know? Are you THAT foolish?

      1. I agree Hildergarde. Julian is allowing soldiers to not collude in hiding war atrocities, and enabling #Principle7Nuremberg to be practiced. Paul Hare and Rich Barlow seem oblivious to this.

  3. I can agree with only one thing in this article: Julian Assange is an arrogant egotist. I have no idea who ever claimed he was a hero. As for the rest of this interview, pretty disappointing. Elementary web searches refute Hare’s words, which seem less an attempt to inform your readers than to distract from the fact that wikileaks showed Hillary Clinton and her whole campaign was extremely corrupt. The otherwise milquetoast DNI intelligence report from Friday 1/6 said “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.” This means that however obtained, the Podesta emails are genuine. In fact, neither Podesta nor the DNC have disputed any of them, even the ones most outrageously proving the torpedoing of Bernie Sanders and the pay-to-play at the Clinton Foundation. Regarding Russia, Wikileaks doesn’t cover Russia because it only covers English-speaking countries – no staff are fluent in other languages. China needs a wikileaks too, I’m sure, but the staff doesn’t claim to handle that either. And why does wikileaks alone have to satisfy any requirement for even-handedness? Please don’t pretend there is even-handedness at either NYT or CNN – both proven by undisputed wikileaks emails with Podesta to be collaborating directly with Hillary’s Presidential campaign. Hare might also have mentioned the NYT publishing Trump tax returns, which is indisputably cause for civil action and probably criminal prosecution as well. I guess I’ll file this under fake news.

    1. Completely agree with the above comments. Bravo Andrew Wolfe! I cannot stand this article lack of biases. Oh Boston so sad to see the ignorance exuberant in the collegiate level-so blind and yes so dumb.

  4. This entire article uses Ad Hominem attacks on Julian Assange. Attacks his bias in order to distract from the the main topic, which the validity of the leaks THEMSELVES.

    “I disagree with stealing cables, because it’s fundamental to diplomacy that you are able to communicate securely” – replace word “securely” with “secretly” and playing the victim tactic here becomes obvious.

  5. This is largely just a character assassination of Assange. I’m not interested in whether he’s a nice person. I’m fairly interested in whether he’s harmed innocent people by doxxing them, but I’m most interested in what Assange (or anyone else) is bringing to light about governments’ illegal activities, the best way to do that, and the demonstrated ramifications–both positive and negative–of the way that’s being done.

    This article doesn’t address those issues very well. There are some claims that things would be better if some other organisation handled the investigation, but given that no organisation handling the investigation has any actual power, the only way to achieve any power over corrupt government is widespread dissemination of knowledge. Thus it seems to me that “things work better” when crimes are brought to light whenever possible, however possible. If the interview discussed this point with evidence rather than just vague assertions and one-sided claims, I’d be fascinated.

    Meanwhile, it seems this article could be renamed “BU’s Paul Hare thinks Julian Assange is not a very nice person.”

    1. Fox News contributor Julian Assange ignores Australian corruption of news media that includes fake news [false & misleading information] published & fake archives of newspapers – Rupert Murdoch’s first newspapers Adelaide [city] South Australia [SA Murdoch newspaper publishing monopoly state – sold as genuine by Australian public libraries & British Libraries UK London. Corrupt journalism has cost billions of dollars of unaccounted for public debt. It appears that Assange, an Australian citizen, & WL is not what it claims to be. More information [hacker permitting] at https://rjrbtsrupertsfirstnewspaper.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/rupert-murdochs-fake-archives-of-newspapers-corrupt-journalism-and-billions-of-dollars-of-unaccounted-for-public-debt/ The FBI should investigate US citizen Murdoch’s corruption of foreign [Australian]governments [of both political parties] & law enforcement they appoint.

  6. Yes Assange is a hero. The truest hero in decades. How pathetic it is that he loses his freedom for revealing WHAT WE NEEDED AND HAD THE RIGHT to know while clinton is still walking free

  7. While much of the information that Wikileaks has exposed was necessary to expose, it should also be remembered and noted that within those big dumps of documents, etc, they have often included information that was unnecessary to exposing what they wanted to expose AND harmful or compromising. For instance, contained within those Hillary emails was email/street addresses/social security numbers/credit card numbers of innocent, private donors. If you’re going to do this kind of stuff, then take care to do it well, only leak info needed to expose the questionable actions/behavior and not information that unnecessarily harms or compromises others. Mission is noble, but Assange is a selfish hack in this regard–not a hero.

  8. Much boohooing here over the release of “personal details” of a few evidently corrupt individuals in western political spheres.

    If journalism’s job is to give voice to the voiceless, then no better example can be given than the million dead citizens in Iraq, and countless others elsewhere, in western wars, as exposed by WikiLeaks.

    If that doesn’t make Assange a hero, then wtf does?

  9. You sound like you’re on the Clinton payroll. Typical leftist babble that says nothing. I’d gladly give out my SS# in return for we learned through wikileaks. Your article forgot to mention what innocent person was wrongly damaged or wounded by wikileaks? And like the left likes to do, don’t ignore the word innocent.

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