John Cusack and Jonathan Turley in conversation: the future of leaks, and of Wikileaks

At the Huffington Post, actor and activist John Cusack has a conversation with George Washington Law School professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, and Kevin McCabe, a pal of Cusack. The three discuss "WikiLeaks' impact on transparency, the government's response, and the comparison to the Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg."

By way of background: Cusack, Ellsberg, and I are on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a new organization that helps crowd-fund independent journalism outlets working for transparency and accountability in government. The first group of four beneficiary organizations includes the National Security Archive, MuckRock News, and The UpTake and WikiLeaks; more will follow in subsequent rounds.

"WikiLeaks was extralegally cut off from funding after two Congressmen successfully pressured Visa, Mastercard and PayPal into refusing to do business with the journalism organization in late 2010," writes Cusack. "We hope that the Freedom of the Press Foundation will become a bulwark against these types of unofficial censorship tactics in the future."

In their HuffPo roundtable, Cusack and Turley explore some of the legal principles and historic precedents related to the Wikileaks case.

"What Assange did was a massive release of material that showed the breathtaking dishonesty by the US government and governments around the world," says Turley. Is this, or should it be, a crime?