How do we feel about our governments, defence forces or intelligence agencies committing crimes in our name, in defence of democracy?
Our whole country will soon grapple with this question as alleged war crimes by our special forces soldiers in Afghanistan become public and are finally investigated.
While this is sure to make many of us uncomfortable, it is also deeply disturbing that journalists, publishers and whistleblowers like Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are behind bars and facing virtual death sentences for daring to expose similar criminality and human rights abuses by US forces and security agencies.
The world is watching with dismay as the Trump administration uses its dying days to attack the institution of democracy and poison the political waters in a country already too partisan and divided.
The fact that President Trump and other powerful figures such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, openly deny and defy an obvious democratic election result and use their office to further their advantage and political agendas, is no surprise to anyone who has been watching the extradition trial of Australian journalist and citizen Julian Assange.
Assange is being held without charge in the UK's most notorious maximum-security prison, awaiting potential extradition to the exact country whose criminal behaviour, war crimes and gross human rights violations he helped expose.
This trial is the most egregious possible abuse of power and the legal process.
Donald Trump and his inner circle have openly boasted that they want to attack leakers, whistleblowers and press freedom. This is in part an attempt to protect US forces from prosecution on war crimes offences.
Our government has not said a word throughout this farce and this silence means it's complicit in this most chilling injustice and declaration of war on the media.
This extradition trial is unprecedented.
Never before has the US tried to extradite a foreign citizen to face its courts on "espionage charges".
Assange and Wikileaks were no friends of the Obama administration or the Clinton campaign but President Obama chose not to seek the extradition of Assange on clear constitutional principles.
Doing so would be a breach of the US Constitution's First Amendment: protecting the freedoms of the press.
If President Obama had prosecuted Assange, he would have had to do the same to key US media outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times - the papers that published Wikileaks' explosive and shocking revelations to the world.
It is illegal to extradite prisoners on political grounds, and espionage is by legal definition a "political offence".
Wikileaks has always been open about its political agenda; using its encrypted platform to publish verifiable information from whistle-blowers exposing any government abuses of power, corruption and war crimes.
We must remember that Assange won a Walkley Award for outstanding journalism in 2012 for just this.
The Wikileaks publications that are the subject of this extradition trial such as the Iraq and Afghan War Diaries and Rules of Engagement Cables were clearly in the public interest.
The harm caused by the actions exposed in these leaks is beyond doubt, but formal investigations have never been able to prove any harm in the leaks themselves, including to the US military.
But this hasn't stopped Trump pursuing Assange using highly spurious legal grounds and subverting due process.
The trial recently heard evidence that Assange had been spied on and plans were made by US intelligence agencies to poison him and harm his family.
Sadly, Trump's closest allies and friends, Australia and the UK, seem only too happy to oblige and assist him in his Orwellian endeavours.
The brazen display of arrogance and dangerous self-interest by the Trump administration in recent weeks may suggest that it considers itself beyond reproach, and that it fears nothing, including consequences.
But the trial of Julian Assange shows exactly who and what they do fear - Wikileaks.
Powerful figures and organisations are making an example of Julian Assange.
He has embarrassed them by exposing them. Wikileak's disclosures may well lead to the prosecution of US forces and politicians in the International Criminal Court, which Trump and Pompeo have repeatedly gone out of their way to subvert and undermine.
Julian is sick, severely depressed and has been deemed a suicide risk.
To many Australians he is a hero.
The Australian Senate just passed a Greens motion recognising his journalism, his challenges and some of the abuses of power and process around his extradition trial.
All our Prime Minister has to do is pick up the phone and this injustice could end.
But so far, he has studiously avoided any mention of Assange.
If we allow this dangerous precedent to stand, today it is Julian, but tomorrow it could be your son, daughter or neighbour.
- Peter Whish-Wilson, Tasmanian Greens senator