Charging Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act Is an Attack on the First Amendment…
The irony in this indictment is #HillaryClinton would never have done this. So #Assange's (misogyny-driven) decision to take a giant step to the right and work with Putin to elect Trump has backfired horribly.
Having spent three years covering the #Manning case, it was always my contention that #Assange manipulated Manning to get the documents, and my in-depth research on that case underscores that.
Manning, like Ellsberg (one of the most remarkable interviews of my career), should never have been charged as she was.
Nixon wanted the NYT prosecuted. The courts said no.
#Assange is a gross person with a deeply unsavory personal history. But his role as publisher cannot be dismissed just because he's a misogynist and accused rapist. We have to look past Assange the person to the issue.
This indictment by the Trump administration is meant as an end run around press freedom. The reason I RTd Masha Gessen's piece on this is because she's one of the smartest people we have on such links and has her long research on Putin and authoritarianism to draw on.
Our 1st Amendment protections for the press and free speech cannot and must not be selective. And the Constitution is very much designed to protect those who are dissidents and otherwise unpopular--such as 5th and 8th Amendment protections for criminals.
So we can loathe Assange--and many of us do--while knowing this particular indictment is meant to broaden government control and lessen the protections of the Constitution. And fundamentally that has to be our concern. Nothing more, but absolutely nothing less.
I recommend listening to @NPR's @onthemedia from this morning to hear an interview with an attorney from the Ellsberg case. And if you are claiming from the benefit of 50yrs hindsight that it's a different case, it's not. We're still in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We learned a great deal from #Manning and #Assange. And that is the case at hand. It is this we must remember.
In resistance, we do not get to parse freedom of the press. And this is where we are: in resistance to an authoritarian leader. Yes, it's brutal irony that Assange's 2016 actions helped ensconce Trump. But he's not being prosecuted for that. And we cannot afford to forget this.
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