Julian Assange believes that he has the right to release cables that were obtained illegally through Bradley Manning (and others I suspect) as a right to freedom of speech. Der Spiegel for example wrote an article on the subject relating to the actions taken by PayPal, VisaCard and MasterCard, as well as Amazon in their attempts to block the Wikileaks site.
However, I do not agree with those who are claiming that this is a freedom of speech issue. I see the right to freedom of speech being one that involves the right to express political opinion. This means I acknowledge the right of even the Neo-Nazis to have their protest marches even if I find their activities to be abhorrent. We often witness what happens when the right to free speech is suppressed e.g. in Muslim countries such as Iran the people are not free to speak out against the terrorism of the present Iranian regime. In Egypt for example, several bloggers have been jailed over their remarks. We also see how many left wing groups attempt to shut down the conservative viewpoint by screaming “racism”, when in fact there is no racism involved in remarks being made, or in the purpose of the protests – example the protests of the TEA movement. Another example that I can cite here is that of attempts by Al Sharpton and Van Jones to shut down Rush Limbaugh. There are countless examples of the way in which our freedom of speech can be abrogated through covert government action.
To read more about my take on the issue of Wikileaks and Freedom of Speech you can go here: