Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act on 17 New Counts

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted on Thursday under the Espionage Act, the first time a journalist has been charged under the Act for possessing and disseminating classified information.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

A journalist was indicted under the Espionage Act for the first time in U.S. history on Thursday when the Department of Justice charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Act in a move that opens the way for prosecution of anyone who publishes classified information.

The 37-page indictment charges Assange under four sections of the Act, including Section E for possessing and disseminating classified matter. It charged him with acts common to any investigative journalist:

“(i)circumvent(ing) legal safeguards on information; (ii) provid(ing) that protected information to WikiLeaks for public dissemination; and (iii) continu(ing) the pattern of illegally procuring and providing protected information to WikiLeaks for distribution to the public.”     

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in London’s Belmarsh prison for skipping bail and seeking asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in 2012 because he feared onward extradition from Sweden to the United States and prosecution under the Espionage Act. He was arrested on April 11 when Ecuador illegally lifted his asylum and let British police onto Ecuadorian territory to carry Assange from the embassy.

The U.S. had until June 12 to add additional charges in its extradition request to Britain. The decision on extradition rests with British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who WikiLeaks said “is now under enormous pressure to protect the rights of the free press in the UK and elsewhere.”

Not a Journalist

John Demers, head of the DOJ’s National Security Division, in announcing the indictment told reporters: “Some say that Assange is a journalist and that he should be immune for prosecution for these actions.  The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it. It is not and has never been the department’s policy to target them for reporting.”

But Demers said Assange wasn’t a journalist. “No responsible actor, journalist or otherwise, would purposefully publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in a war zone, exposing them to the gravest of dangers,” he said.  

Assange’s attorney in the U.S.,  Barry Pollack,  responded:

“Today the government charged Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for encouraging sources to provide him truthful information and for publishing that information. The fig leaf that this is merely about alleged computer hacking has been removed. These unprecedented charges demonstrate the gravity of the threat the criminal prosecution of Julian Assange poses to all journalists in their endeavor to inform the public about actions that have taken by the U.S. government.”

Assange would face a maximum of 175 years in jail if convicted on all charges. The Espionage Act carries a potential death penalty if the publication of classified information takes place during wartime. Some of WikiLeak‘s most prominent releases related to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which prima facie evidence of U.S. war crimes was revealed.

WikiLeaks criticized in a statement the global reach of U.S. law: “The Department of Justice wants to imprison Assange for crimes allegedly committed outside of the United States. This extraterritorial application of US law is explicit throughout the indictment… thereby classifying any territory in the world as subject to US law.” A 1961 amendment to the Espionage Act extended its jurisdiction from U.S. territory to the entire world.

A key part of the indictment alleges that Assange published in the Iraq, Afghanistan and State Dept. cables releases the unredacted names of informants and other persons, putting their lives at risk. The indictment does not name this as a violation of a specific statute, however, and appears to be  an attempt to win public sympathy for the new charges.  

According to a WikiLeaks source, Assange was forced to reveal certain names in the Cable-gate releases in September 2011 to actually help individuals escape when two Guardian journalists in February of that year published a password to material containing their names that only intelligence agencies could access. Assange has repeatedly said that there is no known case of harm coming to anyone whose names were revealed and the indictment only says that informants were “vulnerable” to retribution.

The indictment accuses Assange of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal classified documents. But it clearly states that Manning already had legal “access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst” and that Assange’s efforts to help Manning with a password was intended to help hide her identity as the source. The indictment appears to be criminalizing what is a routine act of journalism.

“Had Manning retrieved the full password hash and had ASSANGE and Manning successfully cracked it, Manning may have been able to log onto computers under a user name that did not belong to her,” the indictment said. “Such a measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to identify Manning as the source of disclosures of classified information.”

Manning, who is portrayed throughout the indictment as WikiLeak‘s source only at Assange’s behest, (and who remains imprisoned for refusing to testify against Assange), issued this statement:

“I continue to accept full and sole responsibility for those disclosures in 2010. It’s telling that the government appears to have already obtained this indictment before my contempt hearing last week. This administration describes the press as the opposition party and an enemy of the people. Today, they use the law as a sword, and have shown their willingness to bring the full power of the state against the very institution intended to shield us from such excesses.”

Press Freedom at Risk

The indictment under the Espionage Act demolishes a democratic pretense of freedom of the press in the U.S. and makes all news organizations —indeed any citizen — liable for prosecution for disseminating classified information.

“Notably, The New York Times, among many other news organizations, obtained precisely the same archives of documents from WikiLeaks, without authorization from the government — the act that most of the charges addressed,” the Times reported.

“Though he is not a conventional journalist, much of what Mr. Assange does at WikiLeaks is difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what traditional news organizations like The New York Times do: seek and publish information that officials want to be secret, including classified national security matters, and take steps to protect the confidentiality of sources,” the Times report on the indictment said.

 In a tweet WikiLeaks called the indictment “madness.”

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted:

“These charges are an extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration’s attacks on journalism, establishing a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government accountable by publishing its secrets.

The charges against Assange are equally dangerous for US journalists who uncover the secrets of other nations. If the US can prosecute a foreign publisher for violating our secrecy laws, there’s nothing preventing China, or Russia, from doing the same.”

In a statement, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristin Hrafnsson said:

“This is the evil of lawlessness in its purest form. With the indictment, the ‘leader of the free world’ dismisses the First Amendment — hailed as a model of press freedom around the world — and launches a blatant extraterritorial assault outside its borders, attacking basic principles of democracy in Europe and the rest of the world.”

In a tweet, Hrafnsson added that he took “no satisfaction” in having correctly warned of the Espionage Act prosecution of Assange.

Former British ambassador Craig Murray tweeted that “the poison is out.”

A guide to the new charges against Assange.

Elizabeth Vos and Catherine Vogan contributed to this article.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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49 comments for “Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act on 17 New Counts

  1. May 25, 2019 at 10:32

    We know that the only reason for the Guantanamo Bay facility is to commit crimes against humanity that are contrary to the US Constitution and would therefore be against the law within the borders of the United States. Morally it matters not that these atrocities against (political and non political prisoners) are committed outside of the United States, but it matters that they are committed by members of the US government.
    Julian Assange exposed this and many other “secret actions” committed by our government for the betterment of us all. The treatment of uncharged and untried arrestees (they are called detainees) held outside of the borders of the United States to avoid prosecution by the persons who operate Guantanamo Bay is the real crime against the United States, not what Julian Assange did by exposure .
    Its hypocrisy to prosecute a man who exposed crimes committed outside of the US by US employees to avoid prosecution themselves is it not? What’s up with this?
    It matters not what or where the information came from when it arrived in the hands of Wikileaks. Assange used exemplary restraint when releasing information and one must ask who benefited from the release of this release and who was exposed? Assange’s actions via Wikileaks was done at extreme risk in the name of humanity, character and justice. The US Constitution supports Assange’s actions. Who do these people in our government think they are serving by using man made laws contrived to protect their actions that are contrary to our constitution? Sadly they are self serving. We are experiencing, even today, what an agency like the FBI can do in the name of “Top Secret”
    As my grandfather would say, “Bull shit.”
    As a voter for Mr. Trump I and my colleagues are not only baffled, but appalled by Trumps non action in protecting the person who had a profound impact on his (Trump’s) election win by exposing the evil and truly illegal actions committed against him by his opposition in the name of “Top Secret”.
    When he was running for president he said “I love wikileaks”. Of course he did, but now he says “I don’t know them.”

    Are these the words and actions of a man who truly believes what he told us, his followers as he stands idly by and allows the real media seditionists to spit venom against our great country without pause or response? Who is it that now sits in the big chair?
    Is the path to revolution being paved?

    • Bobo Brazil
      May 26, 2019 at 02:05

      JD: Well, your first mistake was voting for Drumpf. Everything he’s done was telegraphed and widely known well before he was… elected. Anyone paying attention to his actions over the years wouldn’t be surprised, so, to admit it now is… revealing… about the sanity and intelligence of the people who actually cast a vote for him. It speaks volumes about the voter’s virtues and values or lack thereof, not Drumpf’s. He is what he is. The responsibility lies with the suckers who ever believed him.

  2. 0ivveh
    May 25, 2019 at 07:31

    This is William Barr’s Department of Justice, which means the DoJ has been colonized by CIA (though not the first time, Barr was AG under Bush I). In controlling the Assange case, the declassifications that Barr has now been charged to oversee will be shaped in a way to make the CIA look good, and protect those deemed essential for protection… though that might not include Brennan…. We shall see.

    In any case, we might draw a lesson from Barr’s past – a prelude to his role in the Iran-Contra coverups….

    https://auribusarrectis.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/revisiting-the-new-covenant/

  3. BigBeakIHaveBigBirdMouth
    May 25, 2019 at 00:43

    One travesty that is rarely mentioned is the cowardice of Australia in abandoning their citizen. My guess is that most Americans actually have no idea what Assange’s citizenship is. Which isn’t surprising considering Australia’s meek silence.

    • Typingperson
      May 26, 2019 at 13:53

      Very good point!

      Assange is Australian. So why is the USA persecuting him? Under the tired, outdated 1917 Espionage Act–which does not fit. Only applies to American citizens.

      All USA has got –to kill First Amendment.

      And why has Australia not supported and defended this free-speech patriot for the past 9 years?

  4. Pablo Diablo
    May 24, 2019 at 14:40

    FREE Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. Imprison John Bolton, Elliot Abrams, and Mike Pompeo instead. they are the War Criminals.

    • Yahweh
      May 24, 2019 at 21:08

      Unless you are willing to give up your live for what you say…. you have accomplished nothing!! The powers that be are only stopped by resistance….When you do nothing except for voicing your opinion you are saying YES to those in power above you…..You have no idea as to the power you have. The powers above you must have and need your cooperation to carry out their agenda. This goes much higher than you realize for change in your personal life….Live life on your terms !! Demand change or do not cooperate….it’s that simple

  5. Gailstorm
    May 24, 2019 at 14:17

    By all means we should respect Demers’ expertise on who is and who isnt a journalist because…well…actually I cant think of a reason.

  6. Em Sos
    May 24, 2019 at 14:15

    To those running the American ‘Deep State’ all the world’s a “war zone”.
    They’re in a perpetual state of war.
    They see the entire planet as their stage; theirs alone.
    Anyone who parts the curtain threatens their surreptitious script.
    If we, the audience don’t applaud and give their dastardly acts encore after encore, sight unseen, we the people, in our entirety – nations, in their diversity, are turned into the enemy.
    Our immune system – Democratic political structure – has utterly collapsed.
    In this nowadays no longer clandestine cabals’ eyes, it is we, not they, with their psychopathic plutocrat paranoia’s, seeking totalitarian domination, who are the disease eating the host – Mother Earth.
    The likes of a humane being, such as Julian Assange, are simply eliminated at the root, while we, the audience, chained to our meaningless, manufactured lives, look on with the glee of ignorance.
    The law, as unilaterally and arbitrarily applied as it is, is nothing less than a strategy for war. If “War is the continuation of politics by other means” then the case, simply stated, is that there are no longer rules.
    But for the time between the “War to End all Wars”, and the onset of WWII – a mere 21 years, the U.S. has been involved in perpetual war, if not as direct combatant, then, seeing itself as unassailable leader, as instigator.
    “And that’s the news”, according to those whose thesis is that human nature is hardwired; namely those – the powerful, who by example, ‘lead’ others in what to believe about the real essence of human nature.

  7. Walter
    May 24, 2019 at 13:14

    It is interesting how the topic shifts from the Bill of Rights’ Constitutional prohibition on restricting Freedom Of The Press and Free Speech – how the topic shifts to “who’s a “journalist”. This is to say that it shift from the Constitution to the individual, assuming that the Bill of Rights says anything whatsoever about “journalists” – which it don’t – and thus to address individuals in a way that makes us all un-equal before the bar of justice, some have “rights” to write and publish, and some do not…ad hominem rather then Law.

    In Bad Elk case it was decided that Laws obviously in conflict with USC were simply moot – unenforceable.

    Of course that was when “we” were not an Empire….

    We see the Logic of Empire, expressed as Ukase clocked in deceptive rhetoric of Grey Propaganda…

    Read the Bill of Rights…

    • Typingperson
      May 26, 2019 at 14:20

      Excellent comment Walter.

      Thanks for redirecting us to Bill of Rights.

      These indictments of Assange are unconstitutional. Especially since he is Australian.

      Freedom! No idea what fellow USA-ers mean by that. When we live in a police state. ???

  8. Dan Lowe
    May 24, 2019 at 12:40

    The NYT article also said this in its third paragraph:

    “The charges are the latest twist in a career in which Mr. Assange has morphed from a crusader for radical transparency to fugitive from a Swedish sexual assault investigation, to tool of Russia’s election interference, to criminal defendant in the United States.”

    Tool of Russian interference is a claim warranting redaction. It’s important that they seem to support at least that Assange does journalism because otherwise that report contained objectively false information and itself shouldn’t be honored as journalism.

    • rosemerry
      May 24, 2019 at 15:55

      The NYT is one of the worst offenders, and of course the UK Guardian made full and profitable use of Wikileaks revelations then let “journalists” David Leigh and Luke Harding do a disgusting hatchet job biography on Julian Assange and sold it via the Sycophant (aka Guardian). Harding also wrote a book, “Collusion” and has continued with lies and fantasy, allowed as a journalist on a national paper.
      “Lukarding” could become a new word for the now common Judith Miller type writing based on destructive and wilful lies with no basis but with questionable innuendo.

  9. Roy A Booher
    May 24, 2019 at 12:12

    I’m not talking about Assage or Manning; they did their part, but rather that great mass of American humanity, who for generations ignored the crimes of their forefathers, the inequality, the genocide, the mass incarceration of blacks, other minorities the poor in general, etcetera; you reap what you sow and for almost my entire 70 years of living in the U.S. I’ve seen little else other than ugly, backstabbing, vicious, selfish, self-righteous, white America give a damn about anyone other than themselves.

    • Typingperson
      May 26, 2019 at 14:45

      Hear hear! I’m a white female American. I find this to be true. Thank you for expressing it.

      I went to Yale btw. Indoctrinated by Gaddis Smith, top Yale professor, in USA Empire. In a classic course he taught on USA Diplomacy from 1945 to present.

      Took me years to unpack that propaganda.

      Checked in with some Yale friends on FB on that course. Including a wealthy trust-funded friend whose $$ all come from her Indian engineer father making all his $$ from ARAMCO, in Saudi Arabia.

      She is super-liberal on identity politics, and a pro-immigration warrior, while sending her kids to $35K a year private school in Palo Alto.

      She loved Gaddis. Thought his Yale course on USA Empire from 1945 to present was highly educational. Spotted zero propaganda–even tho that’s all the course was.

  10. May 24, 2019 at 11:23

    “But Demers said Assange wasn’t a journalist. “No responsible actor, journalist or otherwise, would purposefully publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in a war zone, exposing them to the gravest of dangers,” he said. …

    “According to a WikiLeaks source, Assange was forced to reveal certain names in the Cable-gate releases in September 2011 to actually help individuals escape when two Guardian journalists in February of that year published a password to material containing their names that only intelligence agencies could access

    Does this mean that the Feds will now bring Espionage Act charges against the Guardian reporters and argue that they are not journalists? If not, why not?

    • Litchfield
      May 24, 2019 at 13:17

      Valerie Plame as outed by the journalist Robert Novak.
      No charges were brought against Novak.
      and, I have heard, many of the operatives she was handling did lose their lives.
      I think Libby served 30 months in prison.
      He was pardoned by Donald Trump on April 13, 2018.
      What gives?
      Here is Plame’s statement regarding the damage done:
      ” The CIA goes to great lengths to protect all of its employees, providing at significant taxpayers’ expense painstakingly devised and creative covers for its most sensitive staffers. The harm that is done when a CIA cover is blown is grave, but I can’t provide details beyond that in this public hearing. But the concept is obvious.

      Not only have breaches of national security endangered CIA officers, it has jeopardized and even destroyed entire networks of foreign agents, who in turn risk their own lives and those of their families to provide the United States with needed intelligence. Lives are literally at stake.[42]”

      So, no consequences for Robert Novak, virtually no consequences for Scooter Libby—both of them American citizens. No consequences for the NYT nor for Guardian journalist.
      And extrajudicial hounding of Julian Assange.

      Someone has to ask Trump why he pardoned Scooter Libby, why the DoJ hasn’t indicted the NYT for publishing Wikileaks info (and surely making some very good money from it), and whether he plans to pardon Julian Assange.

  11. dean 1000
    May 24, 2019 at 11:03

    One thing is obvious. Neither Assange nor Manning is guilty of espionage. The government
    has to phony up the definition of espionage to have a case.
    Both Assange and Manning performed the most exemplary public service since the Pentagon papers were published.

  12. May 24, 2019 at 10:52

    Our very own so-called government should be charged with espionage! They are the worst offenders around the world. Bunch of hypocrites!

  13. May 24, 2019 at 10:45

    The only good aspect to this is that now we know (of course most astute CN readers already knew) exactly where the Washington imperialists sit. They have been totally exposed along with their media lapdogs.

  14. Raymond
    May 24, 2019 at 09:53

    The empire it’s just a mafia…act as a mafia blackmailing every government in this planet to get what they want. Act as the “mafiosi” had done historically, which is bullying those weak and small countries that are trying to be independents, sovereigns and don’t obey orders from the bully. The empire impose – like thugs or bunch of mafiosi – their under-world-law by using corruption, specially among judges eager to be rich in short time. And the mafia, in it own country, control the MSM to “educate” the naive people every single minute of the day, every day, along the year to create “consensus”. And UNFORTUNATELY…Works!!.

  15. Jimbo
    May 24, 2019 at 09:07

    “It Can’t Happen Here”

    It is!

  16. Mike Perry
    May 24, 2019 at 08:39

    The Espionage Act obviously needs an Amendment to allow for a Public Interest defense. The Act should never have been used the way it has up until now. It predominately has been a discriminatory legalized tool of suppression, where Whistle blowers are punished when they expose governmental wrongdoing, law breaking, and criminality.

    Among those charged early on (.. to be made examples of..) for offenses under the Act:
    Victor L. Berger, German-American socialist congressman and newspaper editor
    Eugene V. Debs, labor leader and five-time Socialist Party of America candidate
    Emma Goldman, Labeled as “anarchist”
    Alexander Berkman, Labeled as “anarchist”
    Joseph Franklin Rutherford, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society President, Labeled as “Anti War”
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Labeled as “communists”
    Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Whistle blower

    Among those charged lately, who have worked in The Public’s Interest (..or maybe, been considered peons):
    Jeffrey Sterling
    Thomas Drake
    Shamai Leibowitz
    Stephen Jin-Woo Kim
    Chelsea Manning
    John Kiriakou
    Edward Snowden
    Reality Leigh Winner

    And among those in the Upper Crust Of Profit & Power, that were treated very differently, (.. or not at all.. ) for their offenses:
    Colin Powell
    Leon Panetta
    Michael Vickers
    James “Hoss” Cartwright
    David Petraeus
    John Brennan
    Hillery Clinton

    • Hank
      May 24, 2019 at 09:46

      The REAL problem, the REAL crime in all this is NOT Assange’s releasing of classified material, but the need of the US government to hide its dirty secrets. That should be the focus here instead of a man who attempts to add some sort of sanity to this war-shaken planet! The US Congress does NOT do its duty for the American people in holding these US “interventions” accountable to both the law and the facts. US war crimes SHOULD be reported just as US policemen would be held accountable for murdering some suspect without any clear reason. Americans SHOULD be able to know when “their’ government is committing murder in their names! Assange should be considered a hero but obviously in the USA in these times white is black and black is white solely for the benefit of the military/industrial mafia! If Jesus came back and preached against US wars, he too would be crucified again.

  17. Skip Scott
    May 24, 2019 at 07:05

    “The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it.”

    This quote just jumped right out at me. Of course, left unsaid is just what the “department” thinks that role is. Looking at the MSM of today, I would say that role is to parrot whatever the “department” wants said to the proles. Anything else, especially real investigative journalism, is out of bounds.

    • May 24, 2019 at 19:42

      “The department takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it.” — and that why we have to squash it.

  18. bob
    May 24, 2019 at 05:48

    Time to bring the us of america down

  19. Lily
    May 24, 2019 at 02:31

    I feel so sorry for Julien Assange and i wish the UK would not extradite him to Sweden. There is really no reason apart from the Swedish obeying US orders.

    https://www.pamelaandersonfoundation.org/news/2019/5/20/the-making-of-a-rapist-by-pamela-anderson

    The world has turned upside down and might has bcome right.

    • christina garcia
      May 24, 2019 at 22:58

      Hi Lily, have you ever been assaulted by a 6 foot man who has power? I have so I suggest you shut up unless you know what you are talking about.

      • Lily
        May 25, 2019 at 07:13

        Hi Christina,

        I am sorry for what happened to you.

        But if you read the article of Pamela Anderson, you would see that Julien Assange is not a rapist. That indictment has sadly been manufactured by the people who are ruling your very own country to kill the truth.

      • Skip Scott
        May 25, 2019 at 07:41

        Your trauma obviously left you brain dead as well. So now all 6 ft men should be punished, rapist or not? I do know what I’m talking about. I already recommended this link to you, but just in case you missed it:

        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/02/why-the-assange-allegation-is-a-stitch-up/

      • Em Sos
        May 25, 2019 at 15:19

        On a personal level, my very sincerest empathy goes out to you for your hurt.
        Rightfully, you are filled with rage, but what relevance does your type (assault) of individual experience, though very real and traumatic – inflicted on your person, have to do with the fabricated rape accusations against Julian Assange; twice dismissed, as unfounded by the Swedish legal system.
        Justice, supposedly means that everyone is deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Apparently not in the eyes of U.S. power!
        What the U.S. government, yet again, is attempting to do is circumvent international law by having Assange extradited so that they can prosecute him for exposing their lies and misdeeds.
        The rape claim against Julian Assange was the pretext for the actual war criminals’ (killers) to get their hands on this courageous, authentic Journalist, who has unmasked them; bringing the extent of their war crimes to the attention of the public in whose name they carry out their unconscionable, barbaric atrocities.
        It is quite understandable, that from your individual place of traumatizing pain, for you at the present time, any man, merely accused, is guilty by association for being male. But in your present state of mind are you able to reason critically and clearly? Please see Lily’s link inserted below:

        https://www.pamelaandersonfoundation.org/news/2019/5/20/the-making-of-a-rapist-by-pamela-anderson

        On the other hand, we, all of us, both female and male, have a Constitutional right to know the conduct of what ‘our’ government is doing in our name.

  20. Nick
    May 24, 2019 at 00:20

    There are 2 headlines currently up on can.com regarding what Howard Stern has to say about Donald Trump, and not one regarding Julian Assange being indicted on 17 counts under the Espionage Act. Not one. I think it’s clear that these people never have any intention of telling the truth about what our government does.

  21. Abe
    May 23, 2019 at 23:37
  22. Robert Mayer
    May 23, 2019 at 22:52

    Oh & BTW… your article below implies removal of “Chelsea factor” w/o stating whether Ms Manning has been rearrested… ? … Tnx

    • Robert Mayer
      May 24, 2019 at 01:24

      Answer my own question… Yes Chelsea not only arrested but facing Fines of some sort

  23. John Hall
    May 23, 2019 at 22:52

    During the American Civil War not a single journalist was prosecuted. Democracy- as espoused by the US is under a clear and present danger & a ‘successful’ prosecution will damn the US concept of democracy in our world. The ‘truth will set us free’ and hinder heinous governance. Press freedom is vital and I hope all democracies don’t consign the concept to the dustbin of history.

    • Nick
      May 24, 2019 at 00:08

      Yeah, but also during the Civil War, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and just threw editors in jail without charging them. Dude’s no real hero.

  24. Robert Mayer
    May 23, 2019 at 22:47

    Thanks Joe4 your continued coverage of Julian’s persecution. Consortium News appears2 be unique among reporting sources in understanding& outing the Dangers2 ALL MEDIA as well as implied Fasc of Gov which Arbitrarily Classifies Info of an Embarrassing Nature2 its Principals!
    Seig Heil!

  25. May 23, 2019 at 22:43

    Man this is some BULLSHIT.

  26. Walter
    May 23, 2019 at 22:37

    Well, the DoJ has actually “gone after” journalists under Espionage Act – in WW2 the Chicago Tribune when it published (7 June 1943) the Japanese order of battle for Midway, which exposed the breaking of Japanese codes. Of course that was in a lawful war.

    They were unwilling to proceed because a trial would be public, and dropped the project. But now things are much simpler. Illegal war, or no war, just murder? A question for historians…

    Now, they say, the trial will be in secret.

    Ain’t Freedom Great! It’s thrilling to see!

  27. Abe
    May 23, 2019 at 22:27

    In September 2017, Trump nominated weapons industry attorney John Demers to be the chief of the National Security Division (NSD) of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Created in 2006 (under Section 506 of the 2005 USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization), NSD consolidates DOJ’s primary national security functions within one unit.

    From 2006 to 2009, Demers served on the first leadership team of the NSD, first as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General and then as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Law & Policy. Before that, he served in the Office of Legal Counsel.

    In 2008, Demers helped draft Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect emails and other electronic communications of foreign targets overseas, including correspondence with U.S. citizens.

    In March 2009, Demers joined Boeing International, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer and is a major military contractor. Starting out as chief counsel for network and space systems, Demers was promoted to vice president and assistant general counsel for global law affairs in April 2011, and to vice president for international government affairs in March 2016.

    In May 2016, Devers was promoted to the joint title of vice president and assistant general counsel for government operations, and acting head of international government affairs.

    At his confirmation hearing in October 2017, Demers made it clear that the NSA should not be required to obtain a warrant from the FBI before searching the communications of American citizens. He also waffled on the subject of whether journalists should be jailed for refusing to reveal their sources.

    • geeyp
      May 24, 2019 at 02:34

      Demers needs to go outside for a reality check. Demers is no attorney general, just an assistant.

    • rosemerry
      May 24, 2019 at 16:04

      Thanks for these frightening details.
      “In September 2017, Trump nominated weapons industry attorney John Demers to be the chief of the National Security Division (NSD) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).” Even these words are Orwellian, and with Bolton as the National Security head, the chances of the USA dealing fairly with any issues are remote.

  28. mark
    May 23, 2019 at 22:12

    This is a case that will run and run. It will make the 19th century Dreyfus case look like a prosecution for jaywalking. Not for the first time, these morons have no idea what a can of worms they’ve just opened. The real casualties of all this are the UK/ Swedish/ US “justice” systems. Some people still believe in fairy stories like the Rule of Law and an independent judiciary. Some people believe in leprechauns and Father Christmas.

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