A truly free press — one unfettered by concerns of nationalism — is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike. It shouldn’t be. In the past week, after publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables, secret-spilling site WikiLeaks has been hit with denial-of-service attacks on its servers by unknown parties; its backup hosting provider, Amazon, booted WikiLeaks off its hosting service; and PayPal has suspended its donation-collecting account, damaging WikiLeaks’ ability to raise funds. MasterCard announced Monday it was blocking credit card payments to WikiLeaks, saying the site was engaged in illegal activities, despite the fact it has never been charged with a crime. Meanwhile, U.S. politicians have ramped up the rhetoric against the nonprofit, calling for the arrest and prosecution and even assassination of its most visible spokesman, Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks v the imperial presidency's poodle | Pratap Chatterjee | Comment is free Anticipating Sunday's release of classified US embassy cables, Harold Koh, the top lawyer to the US state department, fired off a letter to Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, on Saturday morning accusing him of having "endangered the lives of countless individuals". Thus Koh pre-emptively made himself the figurehead for the US government's reaction to the WikiLeaks release; the White House's subsequent statement has echoed his attack. Koh, a former dean of Yale law school, is also the man who authored a legal opinion for the Obama administration this past March stating that the president had the right to authorise "lethal operations" to target and kill alleged terrorists anywhere in the world without judicial review.
The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange - David Samuels - International Getty Images Julian Assange and Pfc Bradley Manning have done a huge public service by making hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents available on Wikileaks -- and, predictably, no one is grateful. Manning, a former army intelligence analyst in Iraq, faces up to 52 years in prison. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia, where he is not allowed to see his parents or other outside visitors.