Larry Flynt Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate has written
Let's get something straight: Julian Assange is a journalist. You can argue that he is not practicing journalism the way you think it should be practiced -- releasing classified U.S. State Department documents -- but he's a journalist nonetheless. And for many of us he's a hero.
I'm sick and tired of the politicians and political pundits treating this man as if he were a criminal. If WikiLeaks had existed in 2003 when George W. Bush was ginning up the war in Iraq, America might not be in the horrendous situation it is today, with our troops fighting in three countries (counting Pakistan) and the consequent cost in blood and dollars.
Here's what I know about censorship: The free flow of information is ultimately less harmful than the impeded flow of information. A democracy cannot exist without total access to the facts.
What's wrong is that a concerned outsider -- an Australian publisher, not our own vaunted mainstream press -- exposed the secret documents. For that, Assange has been hit with dubious criminal charges because his condom failed during a sexual encounter. Give me a break.
Julian Assange should not face a prison sentence. We should have a ticker-tape parade for this brave man