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 ...
“Who is the traitor?”
This wiki-leaks boob is a foreigner and anti-American, who has given aid and comfort to our terrorist enemies.
As such, he is merely an enemy combatant, not a traitor.
Send him to Gitmo.
Do you really think the problem is Assange?
If he can get all this stuff and put it on the net, then any part of it of real value could be obtained by a determined foe.
Mostly, it’s just an embarassment and proves how fouled up American foreign policy is. Which I thought anyway.
OOOOOOH. State Secrets. Then keep them secret! Assange is not the problem. He is more like an inevitable symptom.
I say some Navy Seals should kidnap him and get him onto a military transport to Guantanamo Bay where he should be tried by a military tribunal. Once he is found guilty and executed his body should be pulverized into tiny pieces that should be thrown over the side of a fishing boat as chum.
No outrage needed as Pfc Manning is in jail.
“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.”
Maybe DoD will rethink putting those with unusual sexual tendencies and currently lying about via DADT in in most sensitive positions ...
(Emily Litella mode on) ... never mind.
Well he’s not a citizen, so he didn’t violate any of our laws. And he’s not a representative of a nation-state, so it’s not an act of war.
That leaves terrorism. But since the Feds never fondled his genitals, that’s out, too.
So we’re screwed.
“OOOOOOH. State Secrets. Then keep them secret!”
A military intelligence soldier who had no business having access but was given access (probably because we dont vet our military intelligence hires properly) broke the law and gave it away.
Your advice is like telling banks to avoid bank robberies by “keeping the money in the bank”.
“He is more like an inevitable symptom.”
Criminals are symptoms of a crime problem, yes.
The only reason this is not called espionage (which it is actually) is that this was ‘given’ to the internet and not a foreign govt. Or rather, every foreign govt now has it.
“Well hes not a citizen, so he didnt violate any of our laws.” - Not correct. Foreigners CAN violate our laws. This one did. They are just not subject to our jurisdiction unless we can extradite.
“ And hes not a representative of a nation-state, so its not an act of war.
“That leaves terrorism. But since the Feds never fondled his genitals, thats out, too.
So were screwed”
We ARE screwed. This guy gets more rights and freedoms than a granny flying from Omaha to Cleveland.
Something is really amiss.
“Criminals are symptoms of a crime problem, yes.”
What I meant was, “Having sensitive documents show up on the internet is a symptom of a security problem.”
Uh huh, I see.
And how do you expect the US Government to do that when they can't even try and convict known Al Queda terrorists currently residing in Gitmo? Once he is found guilty and executed his body should be pulverized into tiny pieces that should be thrown over the side of a fishing boat as chum.
While I'm sure that it would fulfill your desire for revenge, it would have no effect on Wikileaks. There are many other people in the shadows behind Assange -- some of which are annoyed at his attention whoring. But if even if he was gone tomorrow, nothing would change except the breathless headlines.
I just finished reading an interview with Assange in which he said they had more material than they could handle, and have disabled submissions for now. But he made one interesting point: they don't depend on the law (freedom of speech, etc.) to protect Wikileaks: their protection is technological.
It's not hard to read between the lines: Wikileaks volunteers are using various means to protect their identity, and have spread the material far and wide among themselves and the worldwide 'Net. Google for the "wikileaks insurance file" and you'll realize that there is undoubtedly a deadman switch somewhere -- if everyone associated with wikileaks were to disappear tomorrow, the AES key will be automatically released shortly thereafter.
I’m not totally glad and do want a bunch of people severeley punished. However, I also believe all the stuff could very well have a purgative effect on the USA political actions especially where such actions compromised the integrity and safety of the USA.
He better start watching his back:
Not gonna happen. The people in Hell will see ice water first, eh Mr. Holder?
Just a simple Fatwa will do fine.
I'll still put my money on the Russians.
Wasn’t that a ruling connected to the release of the Pentagon Papers ? As it effected the New York Times? It seems to me that a law could be passed to cover the situation. I wonder why that hasn’t been done? Any ideas why liberals would want to keep this kind of ruling in place? Any reason the MSM would RATHER have the law the way it is - even if it’s hurts the country? Just asking...
Oh - and I don’t believe in prior restraint with the press - but I do believe when a crime’s been committed, the justice department needs to act. Might be time to bring a new case before the SC.
Perhaps you're right. The US won't do anything about Wikileaks; however, the FSB (formerly KGB) just might. Are the Wikileaks' hackers that confident that they've covered their tracks carefully enough to prevent Russian hackers from uncovering them?
The things the Russians would do to the sources of the Wikileaks data would be much less pleasant than what I suggested.
Posted on 11/30/2010 5:51:07 PM by cruise_missile
Until now, Julian Assange has selected his adversaries rather well. Despite humiliating the Obama administration three times, the White House has done little except announce a preliminary probe into potential criminal charges against Assange and his team at Wikileaks. The Daily Beast reports that when it came to Assanges next adversary, he may have chosen poorly:
The Russians, under the leadership of former KGB officer Vladimir Putin, have not blanched at, well, much of anything. The death of Alexander Litvinenko from a slow-acting poison is widely believed to have been an assassination conducted by the FSB. The poisoning of Ukrainian leader Viktor Yushchenko in the Orange Revolution was similarly suspicious, and dissident Boris Berezovsky survived at least one attempt on his life as well. That problem may be more acute for the people who supplied Assange with the data rather than Assange himself. The FSB has restrained itself mainly to attacking Russian expatriates rather than Westerners, but as the DB reports, Wikileaks almost certainly got whatever they have through that route, especially from the super-rich Russian industrialists that had to flee after Putin took power. Given Assanges predilection for releasing information in its raw form, the FSB will likely have little problem finding the sources of the data and making sure that they wont give Assange anything else ever.
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