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news analysis If WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is indicted by the U.S. government for disseminating classified information, as even his own lawyer now expects , his defense is likely to face long legal odds. The 1917 Espionage Act, enacted by the U.S. Congress during World War I, has been a mainstay of national security prosecutions ever since. And it's been upheld as constitutional by every court that has examined whether its invocation in a criminal prosecution complies with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. A CNET review of Espionage Act cases shows that judges have generally favored the government and, in a 1985 case, even allowed an extraterritorial prosecution of a non-U.S. citizen.
Let's be clear: WikiLeaks is not a news organization; it is a criminal enterprise. Its reason for existence is to obtain classified national security information and disseminate it as widely as possible -- including to the United States' enemies. These actions are likely a violation of the Espionage Act , and they arguably constitute material support for terrorism. The Web site must be shut down and prevented from releasing more documents -- and its leadership brought to justice. WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, proudly claims to have exposed more classified information than all the rest of the world press combined. He recently told the New Yorker he understands that innocent people may be hurt by his disclosures ("collateral damage" he called them) and that WikiLeaks might get "blood on our hands."
(updated below – Update II [Fri.]) In The New York Times this morning , Charlie Savage describes the latest thinking from the DOJ about how to criminally prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Federal investigators are “are looking for evidence of any collusion” between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning — “trying to find out whether Mr. Assange encouraged or even helped” the Army Private leak the documents — and then “charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.” To achieve this, it is particularly important to “persuade Private Manning to testify against Mr. Assange.”
Dear Mr. President and General Holder: As faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, we are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Julian Assange or others associated with Wikileaks. Journalists have a responsibility to exercise careful news judgment when classified documents are involved, including assessing whether a document is legitimately confidential and whether there may be harm from its publication. But while we hold varying opinions of Wikileaks’ methods and decisions, we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment.
Manning’s statement, straight from the detainee’s mouth Freedom of the Press Foundation releases a leaked recording of the soldier's pretrial statement VIDEO Natasha Lennard Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013 3:13 PM UTC News Video , Bradley Manning Manning will face most serious charges
In London this morning, a British court held a procedural hearing regarding Sweden’s attempt to extradite Julian Assange in order to question him about sex crimes accusations. Afterward, Assange’s lawyers released an outline of the arguments they intend to make in opposition to extradition. Most of them centered around the impermissibility of extraditing someone who has not been charged with a crime — i.e. , merely to interrogate them — but one of the featured arguments focused on the danger that if Assange were sent to Sweden, that country would then extradite him to the U.S., where Assange would be subjected to grave injustices: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, could be at “real risk” of the death penalty or detention in Guantánamo Bay if he is extradited to Sweden on accusations of rape and sexual assault, his lawyers claim.
Constitutional law and national security scholars testified on the constitutionality of prosecuting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Among the topics addressed were the nature of journalism, .. Read More Constitutional law and national security scholars testified on the constitutionality of prosecuting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Among the topics addressed were the nature of journalism, the extent of constitutional protections of the press in protecting the divulgence of classified information, and the amount of information that is categorized as classified. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
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The WSJ has an article on the U.S. Defense Department’s push for a criminal prosecution of Wikileaks for releasing U.S. government documents on the Afghanistan war. Several officials said the Defense and Justice departments were now exploring legal options for prosecuting Mr.
Joe Biden appears on NBC's Meet the Press, for a taped interview. Photograph: Getty Images The US vice-president, Joe Biden , today likened the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange , to a "hi-tech terrorist", the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration. Biden claimed that by leaking diplomatic cables Assange had put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the US to conduct its business around the world. His description of Assange shows a level of irritation that contrasts with more sanguine comments from other senior figures in the White House, who said the leak had not done serious damage. Interviewed on NBC's Meet the Press, Biden was asked if the administration could prevent further leaks, as Assange warned last week.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has pushed back after US Vice President Joe Biden blasted him as a dangerous "hi-tech terrorist". The 39-year-old Australian also told the Spanish daily El Pais that he was in "a condition of high-tech arrest" although he was released on bail by a British court last week while he fights extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sex crimes. Asked whether he thought Assange was a hi-tech terrorist or a whistleblower akin to those who released the Pentagon Papers - a series of top-secret documents revealing US military policy in Vietnam - Biden said on Sunday: "I would argue that it's closer to being hi-tech terrorist." And he said the US Justice Department was mulling how to take legal action against the Australian.
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/ C-SPAN 3 hours, 14 minutes Constitutional law and national security scholars testified on the constitutionality of prosecuting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Among the topics addressed were the nature of journalism, the extent of constitutional protections of the press in protecting the divulgence of classified information, and the amount of information that is categorized as classified. via Wikileaks,the Espionage Act, and the Constitution – C-SPAN Video Library
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN : We turn now to another story. One of the top stories of the year, of course, has been WikiLeaks. Juan? JUAN GONZALEZ : Well, when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was released from a British jail this month, he downplayed the prospect of an extradition to Sweden, where he’s wanted for questioning on allegations of sex crimes.
My Parents Were Executed Under the Unconstitutional Espionage Act -- Here's Why We Must Fight to Protect Julian Assange | Civil LibertiesDecember 29, 2010 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Rumors are swirling that the United States is preparing to indict Wikileaks leader Julian Assange for conspiring to violate the Espionage Act of 1917.
WIKILEAKS FOUNDER Julian Assange has irresponsibly released thousands of sensitive national security documents, including some that Pentagon officials say could put in harm's way Afghans who have cooperated with U.S. efforts. But that does not mean he has committed a crime. Mr. Assange, an Australian, is in a British jail awaiting possible extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations . Many Americans would like to see him spend a good, long time behind bars - for different reasons.