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We have seen the return of Julian Assange to his land of birth. the conversation here is divided.... hero or traitor?  And it got me thinking about people who have done things and how history will remember them.  For myself, I believe that Julian Assange is not and never was a traitor.  He was a truth teller, who, unfortunately, ruffled the wrong feathers along the way. 

We may never know the full truth, but one thing is certain: a coerced guilty plea is no different to a coerced vaccine.  No one made you take it. Yes, sure..... unless you wanted to keep your job, your home and feed your family. 

In my opinion, his plea of guilty is no more than a tired and lonely man who was offered an opportunity to join his wife and children, be reunited with his father and all he did was agree to something, anything, in order to be free. 

Today, I want to look at what a traitor is and highlight how easily we can leap to conclusions ...........................

Journalists and social media personalities who spout their contempt and hatred are the same ones who promoted jabs and told us that we were irresponsible for saying no and not rolling up our sleeves.  No doubt they were motivated by genuine conviction and belief. Something that I believe motivated Assange. I could be wrong.  Something we say so often these days to avoid censure. 

We may never know what really happened and what spurred Julian Assange to decide to publish the information he had received. And, after all these years, I somehow feel that what America did when abandoning Afghanistan was hardly virtuous, well, pots and kettles spring to mind. Yet that window of free expression is slowly being closed..... 

I have read many opinions over the years as to whether or not Mike Pence was a traitor or a champion of justice.  Was he a modern-day Judas? Again, we may never know. 

There is one thing I do know: once labeled a traitor, it is hard to get the label to come off.  Let us have a look at the most famous traitor in history, second only to Judas Iscariot. 

Benedict Arnold is one of the most infamous figures in American history, his name synonymous with treason and betrayal. Born on January 14, 1741, in Norwich, Connecticut, Arnold's early life was marked by both promise and struggle. He showed early signs of leadership and ambition, but also faced personal and financial difficulties that foreshadowed his later actions.

Arnold's early career as a merchant was disrupted by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. With a keen sense of patriotism and a desire for glory, he joined the Continental Army in 1775. His early military career was distinguished by bold and successful actions. He played a crucial role in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, alongside Ethan Allen, providing the fledgling American forces with much-needed artillery. Arnold also led a daring expedition through the wilderness of Maine to Quebec, although the attack on the city ultimately failed.

Despite his contributions, Arnold felt persistently undervalued and overlooked by his superiors. He was passed over for promotions, and his achievements were often overshadowed by the recognition given to others. His frustrations were compounded by financial difficulties and accusations of corruption and profiteering, some of which were based on unfounded rumors.

The turning point came in 1780 when Arnold, embittered and deeply in debt, made the fateful decision to switch sides. He negotiated with British Major John André to surrender the strategically vital West Point, a fortress on the Hudson River, in exchange for money and a commission in the British Army. The plot was uncovered when André was captured, and Arnold's treachery was revealed. He escaped to British-controlled New York City, narrowly avoiding capture by American forces.

Arnold's defection was a severe blow to American morale. General George Washington, who had trusted Arnold, was deeply shocked by the betrayal. Arnold's name quickly became synonymous with treason. After joining the British, he led raids against American forces, but his effectiveness was limited, and he never gained the respect or prominence he sought.

After the war, Arnold lived in London, where he struggled to find a place in British society. His attempts to secure significant military or governmental positions were largely unsuccessful. He engaged in various business ventures, most of which failed. Arnold died on June 14, 1801, largely forgotten and shunned by many on both sides of the Atlantic.

Benedict Arnold's legacy is a complex one. He was undoubtedly a skilled and brave soldier whose early contributions to the American cause were significant. However, his sense of betrayal, personal grievances, and financial desperation led him down a path that overshadowed his earlier achievements. His name endures in American history as a symbol of ultimate treachery, a cautionary tale of how personal grievances and ambition can lead to ruinous decisions.

The bottom line, I suppose, is that once you are branded, that brand lasts forever. 

As far as Benedict Arnold is concerned, I thought he was a dirtbag.  I think Mike Pence is a dirtbag. I think Julian Assange was and is no different to the men who exposed the Watergate scandal. 

He was just doing his job.

Yet many people class Assange in the same category as Benedict Arnold who was motivated by a need to feel worthy and valued. Assange was always, in my opinion, motivated by a need to promote truth. Judas was more of a Benedict Arnold as far as I am concerned. 

Where Mike Pence sits is anyone's choice: for me, I put him with Judas and Benedict Arnold. Assange? Not too different really to the Washington Post reporters who brought down a presidency. Were they right? Well, that is for another article and another day....................................

But, of course, that is just my opinion.

Bottom line: We have to preserve the RIGHT to have an opinion. And to openly express it. 

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