The U.S. administration is raising its voice when it comes to Wikileaks and its editor in charge, Julian Assange.
According to CNN Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority.” (Link»)
We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail. (…)
“Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an Embassy in London. He’s not a US citizen,” Pompeo said.
But there is opposition…
Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argued that US prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent.
“Never in the history of this country has a publisher been prosecuted for presenting truthful information to the public,” Wizner told CNN. “Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations.”
So, what is it that Wikileaks have done to stir the wrath of Washington?
Wikileaks has published »war diaries« from U.S. wars in Irak and Afghanistan: Exposing what has been done in the name of the American people, paid for by American taxpayers – to the American public.
This is how it should be in a democratic society. Without transparency, it will become impossible to hold those in power accountable. And it will make democratic elections pointless, as voters cannot make informed choices without the relevant information.
Wikileaks also has published U.S. Embassy cables, exposing the U.S. administration having double standards and lying to other countries (many of them allies) as well as to the American public.
Once again, exposing this is a democratic undertaking. In a democratic society, it is a significant problem if the government holds one set of policies in public and a different one behind the scenes. Power should be carried out in public, not in secret.
Wikileaks and Julian Assange have provided a remarkable service to society, to the American people, and to the world.
Going after Assange is going to war against transparency, the truth, the people – and democracy itself.