Surely you recall the massive diplomatic cable leaks that Wikileaks spearheaded a few years ago. It was a massive event that had everybody from all sides calling Julian Assange a traitor (even though he’s not even a U.S. citizen) and calling for his execution. They claimed that the leaks put foreign diplomats and those working for the U.S. overseas at risk.
Let’s back up a little bit now. You may remember back in 2010 that an Iranian nuclear scientist, Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, was assassinated. A man by the name of Majid Jamali Fashi, a kick-boxer, was arrested and charged with the murder. The Iranian government claimed that he was acting on behalf of Israel. He was recently hanged for his supposed crime Tuesday.
These two stories seem to have nothing in common. One was a leak of diplomatic cables while the other was a man accused of assassination. The Times of Israel figures that it goes much deeper than that. They quote a story from The Times (paywall) that found the cable leaks contained a document that pointed an unnamed man that matched Fashi down to the fact that he was trained in martial arts. These documents were released a few days before the arrest of Fashi.
The timing does indeed work out and the leaked cable does point to a man that Fashi fit the description of. Do I believe that the leaks had anything to do with his capture? It’s hard to tell at this point and probably will be for a long time. Iran is really secretive about their court trials while they spoke for Fashi saying that he admitted to working for Israel.
A country like Iran will do anything to get their man. This is the country that will stoop to creating their own Internet just to keep its people away from any information that’s critical of the country’s leadership. I wouldn’t put it past the Iranian authorities to arrest some guy and make him admit to these crimes just to get their guy. They, like North Korea, like to make accusatory statements and blame all of their failings on anybody else but themselves.
It all comes down to what you think of Wikileaks. If you were one of the people crying out for Assange to be executed for treason, then you’ll likely believe that Wikileaks led to the death of a potentially innocent man. If you think that Wikileaks can do no wrong, then you probably think that this is all just a big coincidence.
It’s too hard to tell right now, but it does spin a cautionary tale about the risks of leaking confidential information. In today’s open world, information should be free. Wikileaks and its ilk more often than not help keep government’s accountable through this information sharing. There are risks involved, of course, but does the risk outweigh the potential failings of government being kept hidden?