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.
The birth Certificate is his get out of jail card. You’d think that if there were any official electronic briefs on the subject, that he’s got them?
This administration knew well all about the outcome...they are just continuing the game playing on the world stage....the end result is nations peoples do not matter to the governing authorities...they are simply a means to fill their coffers and political lifestyle ambitions on a global level....it is all beyond the rule of law now....rather who can stay on top long enough to maintain their place when the world shifts to International Governance and who will hold the highest seats of power.
Creating worldwide upheaval over these leaks is as deliberate as Paulsons moves before the Senate on our Economy in 08. They got away with that, and on an international scale....this is just part of the program to take the nations populace under International rule.
It was found Constitutional (unanimously!) shortly after it was enacted.
Subsequent decisions have cast doubt on it, but none overruled it.
Can somebody explain to me why we conservatives allow these foreigners to run around and bring our country down?
We got Assange meddling in out affairs and giving away state secrets.
It seems every other liberal talking head on TV is a foreigner giving their expertize on how stupid we are.
Our pop culture is saturated with foreigners abusing us and ridiculing us,
We got all these podunk terrorists running around trying to blow up airplanes and destroy our cities.
And we got hundreds of thousands of illegals taking to the streets and making demands to give then citizenship when their first encounter with the United States is to defy our laws.
How much longer are we going to tolerate the foreign emasculation of our country?
P.s. on my post....Does make one wonder who is really stirring the pot doesn’t it?
Then...HANG HIS ASS!
what a joke!
“Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst suspected of being the source of the WikiLeaks documents, was arrested by the military this year. “
We have had him since MAY ... where are the indictments of his co-conspirators?!? What took so long?
And why didnt we take down the website already?
I AM TOTALLY GLAD THAT HE IS RELEASING THESE DOCS AND HOPE HE SHINES THE LIGHT ON ALL OF THESE COCK-ROACHES
I’m sort of liking all this stuff coming out...we already knew or suspected so there’s satisfaction in confirmation. Looking forward to learning more.
Easier to have him accidently cut himself shaving and bleed to death ... it’ll be odd since he uses an electric shaver, but no more odd than that former terrorist who commited suicide in Baghdad under Saddam’s regime - yup, suicide, with 5 bullets in the back.
The information being released does absolutely nothing to harm the “conservative” cause, in fact, this info will AID us in our efforts if used correctly against appropriate targets.
Poetic ... and true!
But dont discount our ability to get him. Go after him. Hound him. Never let go. People mock sending the lawyers, but guess what, we are good at that. This guy could live a miserable existence spending his life in European courts fending our lawyers off. Worth every penny.
And for Christmas, a lovely flacon of “Man-Glo,” the new polonium-210-laced aftershave lotion and skin tonic.
“How much longer are we going to tolerate the foreign emasculation of our country?”
Until November 2012? I can’t see a sooner turnaround to this state of events.
He “could” have been charged 6 months ago. That he has not indicates the Feds consider him a partner.
As I said I am loving it.
Who is the traitor?
Treasonous? How is that?
There have been previous leaks and nothing was done. We were warned for weeks that the latest leaks were coming, nothing done. Why would we expect these incompetent, boobish peacocks to do anything now? I contend this is all part of the “fundamental change” promised by Obama. Good-bye Republic, hello communism.
Now that would be one way to do it ... order it special from a Moscow mail order house.
From Russia with love.
He did not get this stuff by himself... He had to have had inside help... from Americans. So I guess, technically, he cannot be tried for treason, since he is not American; but those Americans found to be in his circle of contacts sure as hell can and should be tried for treason, espionage, and anything else we can use to get their asses dropped from a scaffold.
In any case... If it were up to me, I’d shoot them all on sight, no questions asked.
“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.