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With superseding indictment against Assange, Justice Dept explicitly targets journalism, where govt or military source provides classified documents to media organization, as conspiracy to commit espionage. It's blatant attack on press freedom.

Let's go through the indictment.
Julian Assange was charged with 17 additional counts of violating the Espionage Act. Most significantly, prosecutors are wielding the 1917 law as if it is a secrecy law. They are saying Assange, who is not U.S. citizen, is criminal for not obeying this law.
Beyond that, the first charge against Assange is 793(g), which is a conspiracy provision in the Espionage Act. Prosecutors contend Assange does not have to release "national defense" information to a person not authorized to receive it to be punished with violating the law.
Assange is charged with three counts under 793(b), which has not typically been deployed by prosecutors in Espionage Act cases because often it is source, not journalist or publisher prosecuted. So, this allows for blanket criminalization of publication of documents.
Similarly, Assange is charged with four counts of violating 793(c), which targets a person who obtained "national defense" information or agreed or attempted to obtain such information. DOJ is trying to convict Assange for "soliciting leaks."
Key language: "knowing or having reason to believe...that [info] has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to provisions of this chapter."

Prosecutors believe alleged knowledge source would violate Espionage Act makes Assange punishable.
Assange is charged with three counts of violating 793(d) and six counts of violating 793(e). These are typically provisions Justice Department has used, especially since President Obama's administration, to prosecute whistleblowers.
What is important to recognize is allegations of violating Espionage Act, as in government's theory of case, already appeared in initial indictment against Assange. It was part of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion offense. Language from Espionage Act was in charge.
Justice Dept incorporates CIA's assessment of WikiLeaks as "non-state hostile intelligence service." This is what Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks when he was CIA director. And here prosecutors twist language to bolster narrative.
This paragraph in indictment criminalizes media organizations that setup drop boxes for accepting leaks and then publicly state what type of information they are willing to publish on their websites.
"WikiLeaks accepts classified, censored, or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic, or ethical significance."

Not malevolent. It was proclamation that WL would do what New York Times or Washington Post do regularly but don't advertise in pronounced manner.
Central to US prosecutors' case is list WikiLeaks posted, "Most Wanted Leaks of 2009." Indictment argues Assange developed list to "encourage and cause individuals to illegally obtain and disclose protected information, including classified information, to WikiLeaks."
Remarkably, by making "Most Wanted Leaks" list key to allegations against Assange, prosecutors remove agency from Chelsea Manning. In their theory, Chelsea responded to Assange's solicitation. That's why she released info. Not because she wanted to open public conversation.
What this allows prosecutors to contend is WikiLeaks recruited Chelsea Manning to help further agenda as "intelligence agency" "hostile" to U.S. It enables prosecutors to claim had nothing to do with journalism. Chelsea was enlisted to steal and release info to damage US govt.
This theory that Chelsea Manning was working for WikiLeaks as some kind of spy was part of military prosecutors' case during her 2013 trial.

But here is how Manning's defense attorney questioned this theory that "Most Wanted Leaks" list was her guide for disclosures.
Manning's defense attorney David Coombs addressed the issue of "Most Wanted Leaks" list in great detail during closing arguments in trial. He said Manning must have been "worst employee of all time for WikiLeaks." She searched for, at most, 4 of 78 items on the list.
(*Note: These screen shots are from the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which crowdfunded transcripts of proceedings. Trial was before Chelsea Manning came out as a woman, which is why you see he/him and references to Bradley.)
Section C is primarily what was in the initial indictment against Assange made public in April. It reflects the theory behind the government's conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge.
One new detail not in initial indictment—prosecutors suggest Assange said he was interested in "mining" CIA Open Source Center because "Most Wanted Leaks" list included this unclassified database.
Section D contends under Assange's direction and agreement Manning continued to "steal" documents for Assange. The alleged evidence is "Iraq and Afghanistan US Army Rules of Engagement 2007-2009." But the alleged timeline raises questions.
For one, it says Manning downloaded rules of engagement files after March 22, 2010. However, in Manning's statement during the court-martial, she said she burned these documents to CD-RW on February 15, 2010. She sent documents to WikiLeaks with "Collateral Murder" video.
The rules of engagement files were shared with WikiLeaks not because Assange specifically solicited them but because Chelsea Manning recognized they were crucial resources for public to understand how soldiers in "Collateral Murder" video violated rules of engagement.
Subverting "lawful restrictions" on classified information may be justified given it is widely acknowledged that U.S. government engages in rampant over-classification. Much of what is concealed is intended to hide acts officials don't want public to know.
When US government classifies so much information—and for purpose of preventing scrutiny of government acts, there will be leaks. We can classify less information or government can target and prosecute all who work together to force transparency.
US prosecutors still using major part of failed argument that Manning "aided the enemy" to criminalize Julian Assange for journalism. Once again, they mention Bin Laden had WikiLeaks documents, which member of al Qaeda downloaded for him. Manning never sent info to OBL
Here prosecutors list a few examples where "human sources" in Iraq and Afghanistan were allegedly exposed to potential risk by Assange's publication of war logs. There also is a list of a few examples from cables, which allegedly exposed "human sources" to risk.
Afghan War Logs were published in July 2010. Iraq War Logs were published in October 2010. Diplomatic cables started to trickle out late November 2010. Manning was arrested on May 27, 2010.

If any "sources" were at risk, US military/diplomats had time to address threats.
Under section, "United States Law to Protect Classified Information," prosecutors mention Assange was never US citizen nor had security clearance. This would seem to criminalize all non-US journalists, who publish classified documents to report on the US government.
In charging Julian Assange with 17 Espionage Act violations, U.S. prosecutors claim the power to decide who is and is not a journalist and who deserves and does not deserve First Amendment protections. shadowproof.com/2019/05/23/jul…
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