because intentions matter, if nothing else than to distinguish good role models from bad.
do we want to teach the next generation that government responsibility and transparency are virtues, and that acting in service to the truth is good? that whistleblowing is something to be admired? or do we want to show them that it's a good way to serve attention-seeking narcissists?
Because motive counts, why we make a distinction between murder and manslaughter. or if that is too hyperbolic... how you would perceive a politician that's say, blackmailed into voting for better emissions standards less highly than one that believes in it himself, even though their votes mean the same things.
i've never liked the look of assange, he's always looked a bit sketch.