US hits Julian Assange with 17 new charges under the Espionage Act

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The 18-count indictment, which was handed down by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, accuses Assange of working with Manning to obtain and publish thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010. It says that Assange "repeatedly encouraged sources with access to classified information to steal and provide it to WikiLeaks to disclose."

WikiLeaks responded to news of the indictment by tweeting: "This is madness. It is the end of national security journalism and the first amendment."

Some argue that Assange was merely publishing classified information that was in the public interest, which many journalists do, but Assistant Attorney General John Demers said he was “no journalist.”

"Indeed, no responsible act of journalism would purposely publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential sources in war zones, exposing them to the gravest of dangers," he added.

Back in April, Assange was arrested after spending seven years hiding in Ecuador’s London embassy following the South American country’s withdrawal of his asylum claim. He is currently being held in the capital city’s Belmarsh prison following a 50-week sentence for skipping bail over charges of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.

It is now the job of UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid to decide whether to grant the extradition request of either the US or Sweden, which has reopened the investigation into the rape allegation.

After being convicted in 2013 for stealing classified records, Manning was released from a military prison in 2017. She served seven years of a 35-year sentence before being granted clemency by Barack Obama. Manning is now back in jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury that is related to the WikiLeaks inquiry.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I never cared at all for Julian Assange, but these new charges appear to be the first step in an all out attack on our 1st amendment rights. Considering Trumps campaign on this and the new one announced yesterday giving the FBI stooge control of the intelligence briefings, it's starting to strongly resemble a take over more like what we expect from Russia. In any case, the number of laws broken by this administration is frightening and is in no way making "America Great Again" ....
 

kevbev89

TS Maniac
I never cared at all for Julian Assange, but these new charges appear to be the first step in an all out attack on our 1st amendment rights. Considering Trumps campaign on this and the new one announced yesterday giving the FBI stooge control of the intelligence briefings, it's starting to strongly resemble a take over more like what we expect from Russia. In any case, the number of laws broken by this administration is frightening and is in no way making "America Great Again" ....
I agree with some of the sentiments you expressed, but I find it hard to forgive or call it journalism when he leaked sensitive information that directly could result in someone's death.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I agree with some of the sentiments you expressed, but I find it hard to forgive or call it journalism when he leaked sensitive information that directly could result in someone's death.
To be more specific, I'm not considering him a journalist. The issue is that Trump is using this as a tool to attack the free press and if we let him get away with it our democracy is in very real trouble. Free speech and free expression are already on his hit list with more to follow .....
 

kevbev89

TS Maniac
To be more specific, I'm not considering him a journalist. The issue is that Trump is using this as a tool to attack the free press and if we let him get away with it our democracy is in very real trouble. Free speech and free expression are already on his hit list with more to follow .....
That is definitely something I feel like we, the citizens, should definitely be wary of.
 

DukeJukem

TS Booster
To be more specific, I'm not considering him a journalist. The issue is that Trump is using this as a tool to attack the free press and if we let him get away with it our democracy is in very real trouble. Free speech and free expression are already on his hit list with more to follow .....
That is definitely something I feel like we, the citizens, should definitely be wary of.
in all honesty if he really is going after free speech and free expression so hard.....if he wins the only thing we can do to counter it is a civil war because it's not like we'd be able to yell at him anymore lol. we would simply have to kill him. this whole "we, the citizens, should be wary of" type of stuff.......is simply ineffective and doesn't work. That's like being aware of the fact it's going to rain tonight......u gonna stop the rain? nope.
 

Tantor

TS Enthusiast
I never cared at all for Julian Assange, but these new charges appear to be the first step in an all out attack on our 1st amendment rights. Considering Trumps campaign on this and the new one announced yesterday giving the FBI stooge control of the intelligence briefings, it's starting to strongly resemble a take over more like what we expect from Russia. In any case, the number of laws broken by this administration is frightening and is in no way making "America Great Again" ....
I agree with some of the sentiments you expressed, but I find it hard to forgive or call it journalism when he leaked sensitive information that directly could result in someone's death.
Wikileaks had a strict review policy. Anything that could conceivably cause a death was not released.

The intent is to PREVENT deaths. For example Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers which showed the disgusting actions of LBJ in promoting the Vietnam War. Ellsberg's leaks may have saved many thousands. The same goes for Assange. If even one Wikileaks causes the US to back off some dirty covert operation, it can potentially save many lives.

That's the entire point of Wikileaks. Assange has balls of steel, and we need a lot more like him.

Assange's release of the Democratic party email was a godsend for the American people and for all free-thinking people. It showed just how corrupt the US political system really is.

Assange is not an American citizen. He did NOT spy on the US or any country. Everything he has was given to him by a whistleblower. Whistleblowers are EXTREMELY important in a free society. Their actions are the only way to keep a government honest. Congress and the Media certainly do nothing to promote honesty. All they do is lie, lie, lie.
 

Tantor

TS Enthusiast
To be more specific, I'm not considering him a journalist. The issue is that Trump is using this as a tool to attack the free press and if we let him get away with it our democracy is in very real trouble. Free speech and free expression are already on his hit list with more to follow .....
That is definitely something I feel like we, the citizens, should definitely be wary of.
You are absolutely correct but I differ on one point.

The Left is is the one attacking freedom of speech, not Trump or the Right. The biggest taboo is speaking up for white ethnic identity. Trump never explicitly backed whites, but his words have been construed as such. It really is the core of the Left's hatred for Trump.

Leftists recently held Congressional hearings on how to criminalize and ultimately ban White Nationalism, which they deem the biggest terror threat to the nation. I'm not sure what nation they're talking about since whites are still 65% of the population. They justified it with a small list of so-called white terrorist events, which has since been thoroughly debunked. They allowed no white people to testify for whites. It's obvious that the Left doesn't want white people to have any voice at all. Just censor the whole lot.

I'm white and happen to like my nation. It was built almost exclusively by whites. We know this because the population was 92% white until the 1970's.

The Left goes crazy when you say it's OK to be white. How dare it be OK! But whites were born that way, they had no choice. If it's OK to be black, then it's OK to be white. All people have a right to speak up for their ethnic interests. All ethnic groups have a right to exist. All lives matter, not just Black lives. How could any sane person object to such basic truths?

Yes, I am worried about the Left's crusade to censor and demean ethnic identity.