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The Case Against WikiLeaks Is a Crisis for the First Amendment

The Case Against WikiLeaks Is a Crisis for the First Amendment

Heather Wokusch

The Justice Department has prepared criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is working behind the scenes to have him extradited to the United States. Press freedom and the right to dissent may hang in the balance.

The watchmen are asleep at the tower.
We have only collusion.
No “Lawmaker” Senator or Assemblyman, is ever going to speak to a humanistic morality, because it will cost them their job, and that is all they ever care about.

The revolving door to a corporate check.

Freedom? Huh? whoose? mine?
No?
Ok talk to you later.

Assange has done nothing the New York Times and any other news publication in this country haven’t done before. There is no difference between what he published, and the Times’ publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, none whatsoever. It is strictly a matter of whose ox is being gored. Traditionally, newspapers like the NYT and WaPo have pulled their punches when asked to by a government (usually ours), delaying or self-censoring certain things the big-wigs didn’t want out at all or put out later. Wikileaks refuses to play ball with any government officials or administrations, so they have left themselves no good will with anyone. Under our First Amendment that shouldn’t matter, but in reality it apparently does, and they want to get a pound of flesh from Assange for refusing to kowtow at all. Well, F@#$ the government(s). I’m happy to know what Wikileaks has put out - from the “collateral murder” video of civilians and reporters being gleefully murdered by a U. S. army helicopter gunship in Iraq, to the Podesta emails, the world and Americans were entitled to see and read all of it. He may not deserve a medal, but he does deserve our thanks and full freedom, not life in a supermax prison. And the same goes for Ed Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Reality Winner, true patriots all!

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Moreno finds Assange a problem because many US senators and similar have written him with vague threats–unless, of course, there are less vague threats that I do not know about.

Wikileaks is analogous to the NYT et alia because it is a journalistic publication that engages current events.

Wikileaks is not analogous to these publications because it is effective journalism, with a sterling record of accuracy, rather than a for-profit organization co-opted by and dependent on its primary news sources.

Wikileaks is a superior institutional model for the distribution of information. There is the caveat that it provokes response by tyrannical governments. But that is because it engages in effective journalism, not because it has otherwise opened itself or its colleagues to attack.

Imagine yourself the individual, whoever it was, who downloaded the information onto a USB drive at DNC headquarters (since the meta-information shows that this was done). At least for a time, if not indefinitely, you are within US jurisdiction. And, for whatever reason that you may be acting, you make a dangerous enemy of a large faction of American politics–who, in more than one scenario, is also your employer.

At the least, you are risking some ill-defined matters of life,limb, and professional status to pass information on to the general population. At the worst, the threats are much more specific.

If you go to the NYT, the one-time “paper of record,” you go to an institution that has just been publishing direct copy from Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In such a scenario, the odds that the paper gets on the phone to the DNC immediately to inform someone of the breach are quite high. Even if you have been sufficiently careful at the office that you are not suspected (though this is difficult), and even if you have managed to be truly anonymous in passing the information to the Times, you have alerted the organization and likely brought forth a purge of some sort. At the same time, the odds that your data simply gets buried are very high.

This is not only the case when the leak is from the Democratic Party, by the way, and private companies can be the most violent in response.

Turning the material in to a company that is not in bed with the organizations about which it is supposed to report and doing so in an anonymous manner are the best guarantees that one can have that one’s risk and effort meet with some reward.

Accordingly, they are at the present our best hope for authentic information.

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" . . . a World War One-era red-baiting law will probably be used against Assange. Originally intended for spies, the Espionage Act enjoyed a renaissance under President Obama, who used it more than all previous administrations combined — usually to pursue government officials who’d spoken to journalists. "

Ah, yes – the Sainted Obama. friend of Pelosi, Shumer, Schiff, the Clintons . . . How do we grow an opposition party?

They are the real enemies of the fascists and their fawning parasites… the Corporate Press.

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