The "Get Assange" Chorus

Joe Klein wants Assange in jail:

I am tremendously [concerned] about the puerile eruptions of Julian Assange. Let's say you're an American diplomat in a provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar Province. Let's say you're a woman, reporting on the conditions of women in this largely Taliban-controlled area. Let's say you mention one or two of your contacts in a cable. They are now extremely vulnerable--indeed, they are likely to be rounded up, defigured or murdered for merely talking to the Americans. This is not improbable, it is likely--and even m0re likely in a country like China, with the resources to examine every last one of the 250,000 documents leaked. These are not the sort of stories that make it into the news, but they are where the real collateral damage occurs.

This is indeed a terrible possibility, but would arresting Assange really put an end to Wikileaks or something like it? The point, surely, is that Assange is to Wikileaks as bin Laden is to al Qaeda or Mark Zuckerberg is to Facebook.

The "culprit" is the Internet, and how it facilitates asymmetrical power and transparency and removes any individual's responsibility for that transparency and asymmetry. No single editor or newspaper editor had to take the hit for this. No one could stop it. Even if every MSM outlet refused to publish these, the blogosphere would soon swarm over downloads which could be shifted from server to server.

The only way to stop this is to ensure that no one in the entire government has access to non-top-secret info (impossible) or that government itself return to the days of carrier pigeons. This is our new reality. The character or crimes of Julian Assange are a red herring.