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FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and said the reason Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has not been apprehended yet is only because he remains inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. (Photo: AP)

Comey Says Only Reason Assange Not 'Apprehended Yet': He's Out of Reach

"Who wants the FBI and CIA directors to be the arbiters of what is and is not real 'journalism'?"

Jon Queally

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI director James Comey said that while he wouldn't "confirm whether or not there are charges" pending against the WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, the reason he "hasn't been apprehended is because he's inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London."

While speculation has long been that the U.S. government has a sealed indictment against Assange, the government refuses to openly say whether or not criminal charges exist against the man whose media organization has published troves of classified material, much of which has exposed secrets that paint the global superpower—and many of its top political leaders—in a negative light.

Watch:

In his remarks Wednesday, Comey argued that WikiLeaks—"an important focus of [the FBI's] attention"—does not practice journalism like other "responsible" outlets, but instead acts as a "known outlet of foreign propaganda" that has harmed U.S. interests.

Last month, Common Dreams reported on rumblings within President Donald Trump's Justice Department that criminal charges were being prepared.

Despite the fact that major news outlets from around the world have consistently relied on the information provided by WikiLeaks over the years, Comey on Wednesday repeatedly described WikiLeaks as "intelligence porn" that serves no journalistic purpose.

"A huge portion of WikiLeaks has nothing to do with legitimate news-gathering and is simply about releasing classified information to damage the United States," Comey said. "American journalists do not do that."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald was among those immediately pushing back against such arguments:

And, not surprisingly, WikiLeaks was also watching:


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Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·


Looming US Supreme Court Climate Decision Could 'Doom' Hope for Livable Future

"The immediate issue is the limits of the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases," said one scientist. "The broader issue is the ability of federal agencies to regulate anything at all."

Jessica Corbett ·


Supreme Court Takes 'Wrecking Ball' to Separation of Church and State With Prayer Ruling

After decades of affirming that prayers led by school officials are unconstitutional, said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, "the court now charts a different path."

Julia Conley ·


Louisiana Judge Blocks State's Post-Roe Abortion Ban

"Abortion care will resume in the state and a hearing has been set for July 8th," said the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Jake Johnson ·


Progressives Launch 'Four More' Campaign to Demand Supreme Court Expansion

"In a true democracy, power rests with the people," one campaigner asserted. "And the only way to take our power back is to take back the court."

Brett Wilkins ·

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