assange

Washington, D.C. – America is on the precipice of venturing into dangerous uncharted territory that could essentially destroy what underpins the fabric of American: a free and independent press. If the United States attempts to arrest and prosecute Julian Assange, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated, he will become the first journalist in modern history to be prosecuted in an American courtroom for publishing classified information – something regularly undertaken by traditional media outlets.

While WikiLeaks may not appear to be a traditional journalism outlet, there is no question that the service they provide – publishing legitimate, accurate, and truthful information from sources – is exactly what journalism was meant to be.

Make no mistake that attempting to prosecute Assange signals a new and dangerous phase in the United States’ ongoing war on freedom of information, and presents a direct threat to freedom of the press in the U.S.

The Trump administration is attempting to forward the notion that Assange doesn’t have a First Amendment right, as he is not a U.S. citizen. And while true that he is not a U.S. citizen, freedom of information is a universal human right, and isn’t dependent upon U.S. law – nor is it dependent upon being a U.S. citizen — as it is a universal human right of all humans upon birth — with no government permission necessary.

These potential legal actions against Assange will undoubtedly threaten the existence of a truly free press in the United States and could signal a dramatic shift towards totalitarianism.

“Any prosecution would be incredibly dangerous for the First Amendment and pretty much every reporter in the United States,” Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation told Wired. “You can hate WikiLeaks all you want, but if they’re prosecuted, that precedent can be turned around and used on all the reporters you do like.”

Reports from both CNN and the Washington Post, both of which act as regular leak conduits for the intelligence community, reported that Jeff Sessions and the DOJ are likely to charge Assange and other “members” of the WikiLeaks organization.

READ MORE:  US Gov't Just Approved Billions For Its Own Weapons The Same Day it Pushed Gun Control For Citizens

The reports indicate that the charges will stem from WikiLeaks’ recent Vault 7 publication of classified CIA materials, which included highly secret hacking tools and techniques, as well as the groups publication of 250,000 State Department cables, provided by Chelsea Manning, which became known as Cablegate. Just last week, CIA director Mike Pompeo labeled WikiLeaks as a “non-state, hostile intelligence agency” in a foreshadowing of these most recent revelations.

Contrary to these assertions by Pompeo, WikiLeaks is the pinnacle of journalism not tainted by state intelligence agencies and propaganda. Their steadfast adherence to transparency leaves them unrivaled in terms of presenting honest, raw, truth. In fact, since its inception, WikiLeaks has a perfect record for presenting legitimate, verified document. State intelligence agencies loathe WikiLeaks, and denounce it as a “non-state, hostile intelligence agency” for one very important reason – WikiLeaks acts as a non-state intelligence agency for the people of the world, thus allowing us to see what the plutocratic oligarchy would like to keep hidden.

The journalistic work engaged in by WikiLeaks, without question, qualifies for protection under the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.

There is a clear and present danger that the Trump administration, by prosecuting Assange and WikiLeaks, will up the ante on Obama’s war on whislteblowers, which saw more journalist prosecuted as spies under the draconian Espionage Act, than all previous presidential administrations combined.

Prior to Obama, the US Justice Department had chosen not to typically test the protections of press freedom – although there are exceptions, as the phenomena really began with the prosecution of John Kiriakou during the G.W Bush administration. These new revelations, by the Trump administration, could represent a new and extremely dangerous crack in the government’s standard policy of generally respecting reporters’ First Amendment protections.

READ MORE:  Business Genius? The Numbers Say Paris Hilton Is A Better Entrepreneur Than Donald Trump

Statements by former Obama DOJ spokesman, Matthew Miller, expose the slippery slope in charging Assange, highlighting exactly how serious the potential repercussions could be for press freedoms in the U.S.:

“Every time we looked at this, it’s hard to figure out how you charge Julian Assange with publishing classified information without setting the precedent that you charge reporters for doing the same thing,” Miller says. “If he asked Manning to give him documents, or provided Manning with tools by which to get him those documents, well, reporters use a lot of those same tools as well.”

ACLU attorney Ben Wizner, who has defended NSA leaker Edward Snowden, went even further, explaining:

“Never in the history of this country has a publisher been prosecuted for presenting truthful information to the public,” Wizner, wrote in a statement to WIRED. “Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations.”

Make no mistake that it’s a very slippery slope, and short step, to go from indicting Assange to beginning to indict reporters who dare report on classified intelligence. Furthermore, Trump has already laid the groundwork for this crackdown on a free press by labeling the media “the enemy of the American people.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Timm was clear in his warning to all Americans:

“We shouldn’t doubt for a second that as soon as there’s a precedent on the books that allows [the US government] to prosecute publishers for publishing information they consider classified, they won’t turn that on the Times, the Post, and other vital news institutions. I hope people realize that even if you dislike WikiLeaks in the extreme, prosecuting them is a huge threat to the work reporters do every day.”

The fact that Trump can go from expressing his admiration for WikiLeaks on the campaign trail, to attempting to arrest and prosecute Assange is indicative of a snake oil salesman who says whatever is necessary, and strategically convenient at the time, to achieve the sale.

The problem for Trump is that his most ardent supporters are vehemently against the prosecution of Assange – without question, prosecuting Assange is political suicide for this administration.

READ MORE:  Mainstream Media's Russian/Aide Story is Fake News by Their Own Definition

This is evidenced by the sentiments expressed on social media by notable Trump supports, such as Mike Cernovich, who broke the Susan Rice unmasking story, as well as the news that McMasters wants tens of thousands of American soldiers on the ground in Syria.

Cernovich has been a lightning rod for Trump supporters on social media throughout election season and beyond, and has even garnered praise from the likes of Donald Trump, Jr.

So, when one of Trump’s most public supporters, who has been applauded by Donald Trump, Jr., loudly proclaims on social media that they will be in the streets holding massive protests – the administration might want to take note.

If the prosecution of Assange comes to pass, be aware that propaganda and state controlled information, which is already a major problem, will come to be the only news available — under threat of prosecution. The censorship regime is being rolled out, with the military-intelligence industrial complex in firm control of America.

Will you stand idly by and allow the press freedom, and thus, our ability to discern what is taking place in the world, to be decimated by a security state bent on global warfare and domination?

Please share this vitally important news story!

SHARE
Jay Syrmopoulos is an geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay's writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media - and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis. You can support his work at Patreon.
  • IceTrey

    Of course the 1st applies to everyone. The Constitution tells the government what it can and cannot do regardless of citzenship. Why does Trump think it’s so hard to deport illegals?

    • john robel

      WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION DOES NOT PROTECT NON CITIZENS. THIS IS LEFTIST PROPAGANDA. YOU SHOULD TRY READING COMPREHENSION BEFORE SO BRILIANTLY DISPLAYING TOTAL IGNORANCE, AS FOR JULIAN, PUT HIM IN THE CROSSHAIRS AND I WILL SLOWLY SQUEASE. THE GUY IS DESERVING OF THE MOSSAD FOR HIS DESTRUCTION TO SECURITY.

      • IceTrey

        The Constitution applies to the US government not individuals.

        • TruthFYou

          Wha? The Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments, are specifically meant to protect individual rights. The original body of the Constitution (what you are calling the Constitution) specifically delineates and limits the powers of the government. The Constitution IN ITS ENTIRETY, including Amendments, limits government but doesn’t limit individual unalienable rights. The Founders were adamantly concerned about the power of government. The constitution also protects the rights of the individual from the tyranny of majority rule. Individual rights are sacrosanct in the U.S. Otherwise, you would be no better than a slave of the state.

          With regard to citizenship, you are correct that individual rights are bestowed upon anyone who steps into the country. You cannot be shot because you are not a citizen. You can be deported if you are illegal; especially if you commit a crime. I don’t agree with illegals getting benefits, education, etc.

          • IceTrey

            I didn’t say it limits individual rights.

          • TruthFYou

            You said, “The Constitution applies to the US government not individuals.” The Constitution very much applies to individuals AND the government. If it doesn’t apply to individuals then it can’t limit or allow individual rights as a matter of law and citizen rights; one then the other. Individual rights come first and the Constitution second; recognizing and codifying a pact between fallible go’mint institutions and fallible individuals with inalienable rights. Individuals, en masse, can withdraw any power of go’mint. Otherwise we’re all doomed to being servants of an authoritarian state.

            Even though inalienable rights are bestowed upon any person in the U.S., it does not follow, in my opinion, that benefits of education, health care, housing that are granted to citizens should be granted to non-citizens. One does not become an equal of a citizen merely by stepping across a porous border. That act is an illegal one albeit a civil, not criminal, violation.

            A society would be quickly overrun and beyond its capacity to manage or afford an influx of millions per year.

            “Yes, come to the U.S. and we’ll pay for everything; just vote for us.”

            One has to enter legally, learn what it means to be an American. America is not a free lunch; these things are borne by responsible citizens.

            Sanctuary is an exception but not an excuse.

          • IceTrey

            No it doesn’t. As a private individual I don’t have to allow you free speech or the right to assemble or anything.

          • TruthFYou

            You can’t stop me nor I you.
            Innate rights exist whether you ‘allow’ them or not.
            The Constitution is there to protect U.S. if I, or go’mint, decides you can’t exercise your innate rights; if I occupy or take your abode’.

            Viva la Ice Trey Revolucion’

            I don’t allow you to respond, bwa ha ha.

            Now you’re in a conundrum.
            If you don’t respond, you make your point and lose.
            If you do respond, you prove my point.

            Checkmate.

            P.S.

            As a penalty, you are not allowed to do anything anywhere anytime. Bwa ha ha ha! Erp!

            As a reward for the penalty, you don’t have to be anything or do anything; you simply are in peace and harmony; thought is naught;
            Go outside; breathe deeply; if thought enters your mind; see that it is doing so; it will disappear once you acknowledge the friendly monkey, the ‘I’, that is, well, selfish elfish ..

            Remember, there are no penalties and no rewards; there is no stream, no boat, and no other side; there is no separation

            humans are nuts and their thinkin’ makes them crazy but the crazier thing is that they think that thought will get them to their ever-illusive imaginary goal of peace and harmony; therein starts the separation, the confusion, the conflicts, the nation, the war; god is a self-imposed ideology that we kill to preserve the idolatry and prevent people from seeing for themselves; this mechanism is all a function of self-preservation, of the ‘I’, the ‘me’ which has developed over millennia and we apply what works so well on the outside to the inside … and the games continue …

            From Love flows Freedom flows Choice flows Happiness
            You cannot invite Love.

            If Nothing gives you Peace; do more No-thing.

            OM

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    How can they come for someone who isn’t here? They’re going to go looking for him… slight difference there!

  • TruthFYou

    “freedom of information is a universal human right”
    The premise is wrong.
    I have information; you don’t have a right to it; it’s my property; even intellectual property is protected. What are you going to do, remove it from my brain?

    Wikileaks obtains information, disseminates it and shines light on suspect behavior. Whether that information is illegally obtained by a party other than Wikileaks is not Wikileak’s concern.

    Assange isn’t a US Citizen and his rights to free press are not under US jurisdiction. He lives in Equador’s embassy in London making him a guest of Ecuador where freedom of press and speech are written but not protected. Equador has no extradition to the U.S. so the Ecuadorian president has a strange interest.

    If you see a civil right being violated; you have a moral obligation to say something or you become complicit.
    If someone is killed and you saw the act, you have a moral obligation to say something. So some of this information that is leaked is because actions were wrong and they make it to the light of day, exposing wrong doing and creating, thereby, a more just world.

    Wikileaks and Assange are refreshing in a world of intrigue and obfuscation. He provides a service for information that would be given to the world anyway if not so easily.

  • chuckaway11111

    you want some truth?
    assange says he is annoyed by anyone who questions the official account of 9/11.

    if assange dropprd dead tomorrow, truth would be a winner.

  • Steve Rusk

    The vise of totalitarianism tightens it’s grip on us.

  • Di

    in my opinion, assange has been captured by the cia awhile back..the interviews have seen are questionable