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The Indictment of Assange Is a Blueprint for Making Journalists Into Felons

The Indictment of Assange Is a Blueprint for Making Journalists Into Felons

Glenn Greenwald

The U.S. government on Thursday unveiled an 18-count indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, charging him under the 1917 Espionage Act for his role in the 2010 publication of a trove of secret documents relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and diplomatic communications regarding dozens of nations. So extreme and unprecedented are the indictment’s legal theories and likely consequences that it shocked and alarmed even many of Assange’s most virulent critics.


The experiences involving Manning, Snowden, and Assange have convinced me that Nixon’s famous reply to Frost, “when the president does it that means it is not illegal”, has been superseded by “when the government does it that means it is not illegal”. I am not comforted by that thought one bit.


The 10 ways pResident IQ45 might be a dictator:

  1. Systematic efforts to intimidate the media.**check
  2. Building an official pro-Trump media network.**check
  3. Politicizing the civil service, military, National Guard, or the domestic security agencies.**check
  4. Using government surveillance against domestic political opponents.**check
  5. Using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents.**check
  6. Stacking the Supreme Court.**check
  7. Enforcing the law for only one side.**check
  8. Really rigging the system.**check
  9. Fearmongering.**check
  10. Demonizing the opposition.**check

It saddens me this story comes from Greenwald (when you’re platform burns 3 whistleblowers, makes respecting him tough for me), but he makes good points.
An explanation I read the other day says it best: Journalism is an action (verb), not a person (noun), and as Greenwald brings out, anyone providing this action is a journalist.

Seriously, Mr. Greenwald? You released more damaging info than Assange. You’re not under indictment. I wonder why? Oh wait, you were not actually involved in the extraction of information. It was simply fed to by a FSB asset.

Once you start advising and actively supporting your source in illegally accessing the information, you’re not a journalist anymore.

Greenwald has been a guiding light for so many years for me on issues of the first amendment, Israel, Palestinians, Islamophobia, and the Security State. I’m very happy to see a long article from him discussing this. (He’d tweeted right away.)

You know this affects him personally. I remember when he released the Snowden leaks and how the right wingers were saying that not only was Snowden a traitor but so was Greenwald. I remember mainstream media constantly attacking him along those lines, wondering if he should be indicted for espionage.

So one of the first others they’ll go after if Assange’s case moves ahead and sets a precedent will definitely be Greenwald. It’s very chilling to the point of freezing to death.

Yes. And is a lot of cases they immediately begin manufacturing the consent to marginalize and make hated and despised their target. They did this with Assange.

Lie after lie has been put out about him.

First were the bogus charges from Sweden where a woman he’d been with consentually (no one including her ever disputed that) claimed he’d broken a condom but the condom in question had no DNA evidence he’d ever used it. The other woman’s charge is similar. Neither one pressed rape charges, they just requested formal pressure for him to be tested for STDs. Instead prosecutors began issuing charges on him.

Then there’s the accusation he was running from these charges. That is not true. He was investigated in Sweden and then told he could go. He went to the UK. Then another prosecutor in Sweden decided to go after him and issue an extradition warrant to the UK. Assange made it clear he was happy to return to Sweden if the government would assure this wasn’t all a set up to extradite him to the US which had just then set a Grand Jury to come up with charges against him. The Swedish government could make that promise. They wouldn’t. He agreed to meet with Swedish authoriteis for an interview (all that they claimed they wanted him in Sweden for at the time.) They refused.

The UK was cooperating with Sweden even though an extradition request must be signed by a judge and this wasn’t. (After dealing with Assange they passed a law making it clear in the future it had to be signed by a judge.)

It was only then that Assange skipped bail asserting all this was a set up to extradite him to the US and sought assylum from Eduador. A lot of peopel scoffed that his claim of fear of US indictments and extradition were excuses- but it turns out now that Assange was 100% correct in his fear, doesn’t it?

Then there were lies he met with Manafort. Lies he worked knowingly with Russia (even the Mueller Report, which ignores evidence it wasn’t a leak, doesn’t affirm that Assange knew he was getting stuff from Russians.) Lies he abused his cat. Lies he smeared shit on the apartment walls he was staying. Lies he is a rude person. Lies he had body odor.

By now we have people like Rachel Maddow saying about him, even as she speaks against the indictments, “…this spectacularly unsympathetic character.”

Greenwald helped start the Intercept. But he has no power in it now other than full freedom to publish whatever he chooses to write. So let’s not bash one of the best voices out there. He’s even debated other Intercept journalists who have pushed the phony official narrative on things.


Yes, but only if Greenwald can be extradited from Brazil. I believe Glenn has immunity in Brazil, but correct me if I am wrong.

Brazil has a new fascist leader who hates everything Greenwald is and stands for. Bolsanoro is also willing to do whatever the US asks.
No, IMO Greenwald is not safe in Brazil.


How’s the weather at Langley today bro?


Thank you for the information. Looks like Glenn needs to get out of Brazil before it is too late!

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Hi Shantiananda:
Oh I don’t know If Mr. Greenwald would even be safe there---- because Brazil has another crazy person running it now. That guy wants to tear down all the forests—so he’s probably already suffering from lack of oxygen.


Funny… i actually had to look that up.

Sorry but I disagree, Greenwald did used to deserve the respect you laid out, but IMHO him and the Intercept have lost their way. Others who have much more insider information than I, dispute you’re claim of no control at the platform for Greenwald. Who knows for sure what the truth really is? For a platform that bragged about providing a safe and secure site for whistleblowers, having burned 3, is no accident. My advice to all whistleblowers is stay the hell away from this site. Then there’s the gay porn site business (it’s not about the porn, but the shady business practices w/lawsuit). Then there’s the dumping of Snowden’s material, with the public getting to see aprox. 5%. I bet he wishes he had done things differently, have you’re life turned upside down, to only have 5% made public. If you want to continue to defend them, be my guest, but I’m done with them.
Of course none of this has anything to do with the story and how it relates to Assange, I agree on those points of you’re post, but stand by my definition of journalism.

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Too damn bad!

Caitlin Johnstone article on Assange’s latest health news:

You and Rachel Maddow should get a room.

Errors in Rachel Maddow’s Report on allegations of espionage against Julian Assange – May 29, 2019 - Lila York - GreanvillePost

Dear Ms. Maddow:

Please correct on air the following errors in your report on the allegations of espionage levied against Julian Assange:

3- Assange never “hacked” any government computer. Manning had already downloaded the files and in fact had already delivered all files to both the Washington Post and the New York Times before contacting Wikileaks. Assange tried to instruct Manning on how to hide her identity, something journalists do every day. You falsely stated that Manning “illegally downloaded classified material for the purpose of sending the material to Wikileaks to publish. ” That is a patently false statement, since the material had been downloaded long before Manning had any contact with Assange.



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Assange provided Manning with a set of fake credentials to access classified info. The whole thing didn’t work out in the in the end, but the deed was already done.

So what… The Freedom of the Press

U.S. charges WikiLeaks’ Assange with hacking conspiracy with Manning – Apr 11, 2019 - Mark Hosenball - Yahoo!News

The Obama administration decided not to prosecute WikiLeaks and Assange on the grounds that the website’s work was too similar to journalistic activities protected by the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of the press.


Well, the Obama admin also decided to send a few millions dollars of cash pallets to Iran. That does not mean it was good idea.