Skip to comments.WikiLeaks Founder Could Be Charged Under Espionage Act
Posted on 11/30/2010 10:51:23 AM PST by lbryce
Federal authorities are investigating whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group's release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act, sources familiar with the inquiry said Monday.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Justice Department and Pentagon are conducting "an active, ongoing criminal investigation.'' Others familiar with the probe said the FBI is examining everyone who came into possession of the documents, including those who gave the materials to WikiLeaks and also the organization itself. No charges are imminent, the sources said, and it is unclear whether any will be brought.
Former prosecutors cautioned that prosecutions involving leaked classified information are difficult because the Espionage Act is a 1917 statute that preceded Supreme Court cases that expanded First Amendment protections. The government also would have to persuade another country to turn over Assange, who is outside the United States.
But the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is rapidly unfolding, said charges could be filed under the act. The U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria - which in 2005 brought Espionage Act charges, now dropped, against two former pro-Israel lobbyists - is involved in the effort, the sources said.
The Pentagon is leading the investigation and it remains unclear whether any additional charges would be brought in the military or civilian justice systems. Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst suspected of being the source of the WikiLeaks documents, was arrested by the military this year.
Holder was asked Monday how the United States could prosecute Assange, who is an Australian citizen. "Let me be very clear," he replied. "It is not saber rattling.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Easier to just offer a reward for his head.
If everyone involved with the recent WikiLeaks can’t be charged for spying — what would it take for anyone to ever be charged?
What is this administration going to do with more traitors? Spank them with a cooked, wet noodle? Since VietNam we’ve been “taking care” of these traitors in the best of style. We’ve done nothing, but wring our hands and put them in jail...I have a rope, to help with the final decision.
Negatory, good buddy. He is considered a hero regardless of the spin.
Don’t hold your breath. However, if he pisses off a lot of countries who aren’t run by cowards, he might just vanish.
Holder is certainly rattling the saber, but only because his hand is shaking so badly.
Reality check: there's not a damn thing the US can do to Assange. He isn't a US citizen, and he isn't stupid enough to set foot in the US or a US territory.
The US would have to convince another country to arrest and extradite Assange to the US. And there are few countries that would do so.
For that to even happen, the US would have to identify a specific instance where release of the information violated the provisions of the Espionage Act. That's going to be difficult when almost every bit of the information released so far is no real surprise to anyone.
And it would have to be balanced against the First Amendment, whose protections have been greatly expanded since the Espionage Act was enacted.
Track the treasonous SOB down, put a slug in his skull, and then do likewise with those that helped him... and I do not give a rat’s ass about their “rights” ... off the bastards.
Demand the resignation of SOS HRC.
So when Assange earlier released all the DOD Iraq documents, that wasn’t Espionage?
Too bad the writers of “24” didn’t pick up on this nefarious, knotty plot.
I don’t get all the talk of “legalities” when it comes to this douche. There is only one way to properly deal with scum like this, and it doesn’t involve one single lawyer.
They need to investigate to find out if releasing classified (and higher) information is against the law? Yeah, right - that’s believable.../s
Well ya know obammy isn’t going to grab these turds and send them to Gitmo.
Simply releasing classified information is only a crime if you have a security clearance. You agree to it when you are granted the clearance.
For everyone else, specific harm has to be shown. It's prosecuted under the Espionage Act, instead. And that's a pretty high threshold to meet, especially when all of the information released so far is not surprising.
Maybe he can find the birth certificate!
Jullian Assage should just join the New Black Panther Party, or build nuclear weapons for Iran. That will keep him out of Holders crosshairs.
I AM TOTALLY GLAD THAT HE IS RELEASING THESE DOCS AND HOPE HE SHINES THE LIGHT ON ALL OF THESE COCK-ROACHES.
WE CALL IT FREE SPEECH, AND SOMETHIMES IT HURTS.
It’s bad enough that they are being leaked but where is the outrage against the Army PFC? And why does a PFC have access to all of this information? Seems like the Army needs to refine its security procedures and fire some officers.
The Espionage Act is a highly suspect piece of Woodrow Wilson legislation from World War I. I can’t imagine a judiciary steeped in years of liberal education with the horror stories of persecuted Anarchists would ever find it to be Constitutional.