The Indictment of Julian Assange Is a Threat to Journalism | TrainMyNews

The Indictment of Julian Assange Is a Threat to Journalism

3 months ago
The Indictment of Julian Assange Is a Threat to Journalism

We can't know for sure, but it seems unlikely that the Times would have published an editorial that said, "The administration has begun well by charging Mr. Assange with an indisputable crime." It also seems unlikely that the Post would have published an editorial that said, "Mr. Assange's case could conclude as a victory for the rule of law, not the defeat for civil liberties of which his defenders mistakenly warn." Both of these statements were contained in editorials that the Times and the Post, respectively, published on Thursday, after Assange was arrested, in London, and Donald Trump's Justice Department unsealed a federal indictment that federal prosecutors filed in Northern Virginia, last year. During the 2016 Presidential election, Assange and WikiLeaks repeatedly published information that was damaging to the Democratic Party and to Hillary Clinton, timing the releases for maximum political damage. The Department of Justice claims that this action amounted to Assange engaging in a "Hacking" conspiracy. Did it? On Thursday, my colleague Raffi Khatchadourian, who has written extensively about Assange, pointed out that, as of now, it looks like Assange didn't do much to crack the password once Manning sent the encrypted version. Even if Assange had succeeded in decoding the encryption, it wouldn't have given Manning access to any classified information she couldn't have accessed through her own account. "Such a measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to identify Manning as the source of disclosures of classified information." So the goal was to protect Manning's identity, and Assange offered to assist. The editorial in the Times did ultimately acknowledge "That the prosecution of Mr. Assange could become an assault on the First Amendment and whistle-blowers." The Post's editorial didn't even go that far. Read more