The case of Julian Assange is not clear. He - like most of us - is neither completely a saint nor completely a sinner. Not all hero nor all villain.
There seems no doubt that it was in the public interest to leak some of the vast tranche of information which he did through his WikiLeaks process.
Many would accept that the public was rightly alerted to the reality of war through the release of video footage from a helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007, an attack in which at least nine people died, including staff of the Reuters news agency.
But it also seems that some of the released material included the names of people working with the Americans, and the Americans allege that those identified people have since disappeared.
But whatever the complexity of the allegations, Mr Assange is an Australian citizen, so the government of Australia is right to take a view on his fate. It may well be that the prime minister is making representations to the United States government that Mr Assange should be returned to his home country.
But there are still serious accusations against Mr Assange, and remember that he fled Sweden from the serious charge of rape in 2010. That rape charge was dropped by the Swedish prosecutor in 2017 when it became clear that Mr Assange would not be returning to Sweden to answer it.
But the charges awaiting him if and when he is extradited to the United States are that he facilitated the massive leaking of classified information, some of which damaged the national security of the country.
As the formal indictment describes the material published by Wikileaks: "These databases contained approximately 90,000 Afghanistan war-related significant activity reports, 400,000 Iraq war-related significant activities reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, and 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables."
The further accusation though not a criminal one - is that he was careless about the fate of the people identified in the leaked documents. By not redacting the identities, he endangered people.
Time has moved on since 2010 when Mr Assange first found himself embroiled in the legal system. It is true that Chelsea Manning, the former US Army soldier who first obtained the subsequently-leaked documents, had her sentence commuted by President Obama.
But it is important to note that Chelsea Manning was not pardoned. The guilty verdict stands - but the 35 year prison sentence was cut. She spent six years in custody.
If Mr Assange were found guilty in a US court, he would likely be given a hefty sentence which might or might not then be commuted. To some, Mr Assange is a champion of government transparency and of the freedom of the press. To others, he undermined the national security of the United States, the preeminent ally of Australia. But a wise sense of proportion is needed.
It is true that no country can permit the leaking of extremely sensitive information, particularly in times of war. And the freedom of the press does not include the freedom to identify people who may then be killed.
But vengeance and the further destruction of Mr Assange's life is not appropriate. Mr Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence was wise.
The Australian government should not treat Mr Assange as a hero but it should try to persuade the authorities in the United States to act in a proportionate manner.
True justice means a process that is fair and humane.
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