Getting to Assange through Manning

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Salon.com

Getting to Assange through Manning

In The New York Times this morning, Charlie Savage describes the latest thinking from the DOJ about how to criminally prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.  Federal investigators are "are looking for evidence of any collusion" between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning -- "trying to find out whether Mr. Assange encouraged or even helped" the Army Private leak the documents -- and then "charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them."  To achieve this, it is particularly important to "persuade Private Manning to testify against Mr. Assange."  I want to make two points about this.

First, the Obama administration faces what it perceives a serious dilemma:  it is -- as Savage writes -- "under intense pressure to make an example of [Assange] as a deterrent to further mass leaking)," but nothing Assange or WikiLeaks has done actually violates the law.  Moreover, as these Columbia Journalism School professors explain in opposing prosecutions, it is impossible to invent theories to indict them without simultaneously criminalizing much of investigative journalism.  Thus, claiming that WikiLeaks does not merely receive and publish classify information, but rather actively seeks it and helps the leakers, is the DOJ's attempt to distinguish it from "traditional" journalism...

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Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, constitutional lawyer, commentator, author of three New York Times best-selling books on politics and law, and a staff writer and editor at First Look media. His fifth and latest book is, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Prior to his collaboration with Pierre Omidyar, Glenn’s column was featured at Guardian US and Salon.  His previous books include: With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the PowerfulGreat American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican PoliticsA Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, and How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, a George Polk Award, and was on The Guardian team that won the Pulitzer Prize for public interest journalism in 2014.

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