New 17 Indictments of Julian Assange As Part of War on First Amendment
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During recent months, there has been much coverage on the indictment and arrest of Julian Assange during April of 2019. Julian Assange‘s long standoff with international authorities is over. Police removed the WikiLeaks founder from Ecuadorian Embassy where Assange had resided since August 2012, hiding from a British arrest warrant and to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped (because prosecutor could not pursue the case without his presence). The Met Police said Assange was arrested for failing to surrender to the court. Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange’s asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions. But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”. Assange faces potential charges in the U.S. and elsewhere. in the video “Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, arrested in London“, below:
In the video “Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder arrested in London-BBC News“, below:
A federal grand jury has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 18 felony charges for his alleged involvement in the 2010 leak of classified documents by Chelsea Manning. CBSN’s Tanya Rivero has the breaking news, in the video “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange indicted on 18 U.S. charges“, below:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, police announced, in the video “Julian Assange has been arrested“, below:
On May 23, 2019, a U.S. grand jury added 17 espionage charges (17 counts under the Espionage Act), bringing a total of 18 federal charges against Assange in the U.S. These new charges are not about stealing classified information or hacking computer systems to illegally obtain classified information. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen secret material obtained by some one else. There has never been a successful prosecution, in USA, under the Espionage Act, of a third party, for publishing something that some one else stole or illegally obtained. In USA, there has never been any successful charge against some one for publishing any secret material. But by charging Assange for publishing secret or illegally obtained material by Manning, these 17 new charges or indictments have placed all American journalists and American journalistic institutions on the side of Assange because the U.S. government is now trying to assert the right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret material. As Rachel Maddow pointed out in the video below, publishing secret material is the bread and butter of investigative journalism, journals, newspaper, magazines, etc. In USA, the First Amendment has protected such publishing. Rachel Maddow reports on new criminal charges filed against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and explains why, as detestable a character as Assange may be, the charges are an assault on American press liberties. Pay close attention to details in the video “Donald Trump Administration Attacks First Amendment With Assange Charges, Rachel Maddow, MSNBC“, below:
For the first time ever, the U.S. government has invoked the Espionage Act against the publication of truthful information about the government, in the video “Unprecedented Charages Against Assange, All In, MSNBC“, below:
This is definitely the FIRST: these novel charges by the Justice Department trying to turn publishing secret material into violation of the Espionage Act.
Much remains to be seen.
Below, is an excerpt from wikipedia about why and how Assange was arrested, in italics:
Criminal, Julian Assange, was allegedly investigated by the Eastern District of Virginia grand jury for computer-related crimes committed in the U.S. in 2012. His request for asylum was granted and he remained a resident in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. In 2019, an indictment from 2017 was made public following the termination of his asylum status and the subsequent arrest by the Metropolitan Police of UK in London. According to the indictment, Assange was accused of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in order to help Chelsea Manning gain access to privileged information which he intended to publish on Wikileaks. This is a less serious charge in comparison to those leveled against Manning, and carries a maximum sentence of five years with a possibility of parole.
Assange was arrested on April 11, 2019, by the London Metropolitan Police for failing to appear in court and now faces possible extradition to the US. His arrest caught media attention, and news of it went viral on social media, especially on Twitter and Facebook as it involved the possibility that the founder of Wikileaks and its editor-in-chief would be brought back to the US to face trial. Since his arrest, opinion on social media[by whom?] has been divided as to whether he should be extradited.[original research?] Some[who?] have argued that this is a necessary because he allegedly broke the law by attempting to hack sensitive material about US government operations. Others[who?] have said that such a move would be a threat to freedom of speech, protected by the First Amendment. Assange himself does not consent to extradition to the US, in an ongoing move to prevent this from happening. On May 23, 2019, a grand jury added 17 espionage charges related to his involvement with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, thus bringing a total of 18 federal charges against Assange in the U.S.
Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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