Broken Trust, Not Condoms
Freedom of the Press?
Broke No Laws
Legal experts have said that WikiLeaks has “likely broken no laws” and this is in contrast with the branding that top US politicians called the website. Politicians are calling WikiLeaks a terrorist group and some had even gone further to even cause to endanger the life of its staff.
WikiLeaks is providing information to the public based on documents provided by various whistleblowers. These documents came from legitimate sources and are authenticated documents even by those in the US military and US political sphere. However, with the potential sensitivity of data various governments had called the move by WikiLieaks and Julian Assange as careless and may cause potential casualties.
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting.
Lawmakers and Legal Experts Call For Restraint in Wikileaks Hearing
The House Judiciary Committee held a surprisingly subdued hearing this morning on the legal and constitutional issues surrounding Wikileaks' publication activities. Committee members repeatedly emphasized the importance of protecting First Amendment rights and cautioned against overreaction to Wikileaks. The seven legal experts called to testify agreed, almost all of them noting that:
Excessive government secrecy is a serious problem that needs to be fixed,
It's critically important to protect freedom of expression and the press, and
The government should be extremely cautious about pursuing any prosecutions under the Espionage Act or any legislation that would expand that law, which is already poorly written and could easily be applied in ways that would be unconstitutional.
Is Julian Assange arrest really about sexual misconduct?
Since the first mentions of a leak of potentially embarrassing U.S. diplomatic cables, a quiet war has blossomed between those who claim they support openness and free speech and those who claim they are protecting lives, international cooperation, and the rights of the Swedish court system.
The war has opened on two fronts: The first front is an attempt to stop the public from getting access to WikiLeaks' trove of diplomatic cables and war documents. The second front is an attempt to get WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange either behind bars or, if Assange's claims are to be believed, assassinated.
-In August, 2010, shortly after Wikileaks announced it would be releasing thousands of documents about the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, Swedish prosecutors open an investigation into charges of rape and sexual molestation of two women in Sweden against Assange. Charges against him are promptly dropped.
Rape Charges Dropped
One week after the initial charges are dropped, Swedish prosecutors reopen the case against Assange and seek an International Arrest warrant for the Australian national because, prosecutors said, he refused to come in for questioning. Assange and his lawyers claims the case is politically motivated and fights the order; his lawyers call it part of a larger "smear campaign."
The two women who filed the original claim, are said to have had sex with Assange on two successive nights. There's not much in the reports about forced sex or molestation, or rape. In fact, besides stating Assange had “an aversion to the word no” there is no description of anything resembling rape. The rape charges were dropped in August 2010.
Julian Assange no longer faces sex abuse charges in Sweden after a prosecutor decided to investigate only one of two complaints against him, and not as a sexual offense. Mr Assange is still suspected of molesting a woman on August 13, but molestation is not a sex crime under Swedish law, according to a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority. It can cover a wide range of offenses, including reckless conduct or inappropriate physical contact with another adult, and can result in fines or up to one year in prison.
Daniel Ellsberg, the man who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War defended both WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the Army private suspected of providing the site with thousands of sensitive government documents.
Daniel Ellsberg said Thursday that Wikileaks' disclosure of government secrets on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and thousands of diplomatic cables was "exactly the right thing" to do.
Daniel Ellsberg said the government is wrong to pursue criminal charges against Assange, comparing him to New York Times and Washington Post journalists who have published information from classified documents.