The U.S. Department of Justice today indicted Wikileaks' Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, the first time a publisher has been charged for revealing classified information.
Kevin Poulsen and Betsy Woodruff:
The indictment announced Thursday in Washington, D.C. charges Assange with 16 counts of variously receiving or disclosing material leaked by then-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, which WikiLeaks published as the Iraq and Afghanistan “War Logs” following Manning’s arrest. Assange is also charged with one count of conspiracy to receive the documents, and an 18th count carries over the previous charge against Assange accusing him of conspiring to violate computer hacking laws.
Assange, recently extracted from London's Ecuadorian embassy after his hosts there tired of his presence, is already serving a yearlong sentence in Britain for jumping bail in a sexual assault case. He already faces extradition to the U.S. on computer-crime charges—and possibly to Sweden, where prosecutors revived the assault case after his arrest.
Many U.S. media outlets were first to publish Wikileaks' material, working directly with Assange, and some won Pulitzer prizes for it. As University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck puts it:
"The issue isn't whether Assange is a "journalist"; this will be a major test case because the text of the _Espionage Act_ doesn't distinguish between what Assange allegedly did and what mainstream outlets sometimes do, even if the underlying facts/motives are radically different."
The actual whistleblower/leaker in the case, Chelsea Manning, served several years in jail for it. She is currently being held again, after rufusing to give further evidence to a grand jury in the Assange case.
As Poulsen and Woodruff put it, the new charges mark "a stunning escalation of the war on the free press."
The trillions that the global looter class has stashed in offshore financial secrecy jurisdictions are protected by the joint tactics of absurd complexity and stultifying dullness, which have been created by a separate group of global looter-enablers, working for big accounting and audit firms, banks, law firms, even private schools.
Positive stories about Latin American immigrants and the United States are difficult to come by right now. But at least Pedro X. Molina and his family have found a happy ending. Molina is an award-winning political cartoonist, whose scathing satire has been syndicated all across the world. Originally from Nicaragua, Molina was on staff at […]
Yesterday's spectacular series of raids on Australian journalists by the Australian Federal Police are a turning point in how democracies view the role of the press and leaks: the raid targeted News Corp's Annika Smethurst over her reporting on a secret plan to grant the Australian Signals Directorate -- a spy agency -- the power […]
People tend to keep luggage around for a long time. And why not? New suitcases are pricey, and no matter how banged up or patched up that old bag gets, it still holds your clothes. Right? Maybe not. Here are 15 travel bags and accessories that make a strong case for upgrading your gear. They’ve […]
Do you own a Mac? Unless you’re using it for a paperweight, you almost can’t afford not to get the Magnificent Mac Bundle. It’s a roundup of some truly essential security and file management apps, bundled up with great photo and video enhancers. The best part is that all nine apps are potentially available for […]
As much as vaping has taken over the market during the last decade, there’s still a lot of questions about the technology, as well as health concerns that we’re just now finding out about. One thing you can say about smoking: You know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to pipes that you […]