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OpinionAlan Dershowitz: Is Julian Assange another Pentagon Papers case?

17:45  12 april  2019
17:45  12 april  2019 Source:   thehill.com

WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy

WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy

By Alan Dershowitz , opinion contributor — 04/12/19 09:30 AM EDT. The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill. Before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gained asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, he and his British legal team asked me

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Alan Dershowitz: Is Julian Assange another Pentagon Papers case?© Getty Images Alan Dershowitz: Is Julian Assange another Pentagon Papers case?

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Before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gained asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, he and his British legal team asked me to fly to London to provide legal advice about United States law relating to espionage and press freedom. I cannot disclose what advice I gave them, but I can say that I believed then, and still believe now, that there is no constitutional difference between WikiLeaks and the New York Times.

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's arrest draws fiery responses from U.S. lawmakers

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's arrest draws fiery responses from U.S. lawmakers The arrest of Julian Assange in London drew a mixture of reactions from U.S. lawmakers early Thursday — particularly after the Justice Department charged the WikiLeaks mastermind with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. Assange, 47, is being accused of working with whistleblower Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, in 2010 to crack a password stored on a U.S. Defense Department computer to obtain classified Pentagon documents. If convicted, Assange faces up to five years in prison.

Before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gained asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, he and his British legal So if prosecutors were to charge Assange with espionage or any other crime for merely publishing the Manning material, this would be another Pentagon Papers case with

Julian Assange and Wikileak's case is indistinguishable from the Pentagon Papers case . If The New York Times, in 1971, could lawfully publish the Pentagon Papers , knowing that it included classified documents stolen by Rand Corporation military analyst Daniel Ellsberg from our government

If the New York Times, in 1971, could lawfully publish the Pentagon Papers, knowing that it included classified documents stolen by Rand Corporation military analyst Daniel Ellsberg from our government, then WikiLeaks was entitled, under the First Amendment, to publish classified material that Assange knew was stolen by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning from our government.

So if prosecutors were to charge Assange with espionage or any other crime for merely publishing the Manning material, this would be another Pentagon Papers case with the same likely outcome. Many people misunderstand the actual Supreme Court ruling in the 1971 case. It did not say that the newspapers that were planning to publish the Pentagon Papers could not be prosecuted if they published classified material. It only said they could not be restrained – that is, stopped in advance – from publishing them. They did publish, and they were not prosecuted.

Where's the cat WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange kept at Ecuadorian embassy in London?

Where's the cat WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange kept at Ecuadorian embassy in London? As Assange was whisked away by British police, questions emerged about the 47-year-old’s feline, known as the “Embassy Cat,” who had been living with Assange at least since May 2016.

“Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz was accused of involvement in billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring by an attorney for one of And Imagine, there are still people who don’t think Julian Assange is a Mossad Agent? From The Hill: Alan Dershowitz : Is Julian Assange

Julian Assange arrives in Sweden on a speaking trip partly arranged by "Miss A", a member of the Christian Association of Social Democrats. He has not met "Miss A" before but reports suggest they have arranged in advance that he can stay at her apartment while she is out of town for a few days.

The same result would probably follow if Assange were prosecuted for publishing classified material on WikiLeaks, though there is no guarantee that prosecutors might not try to distinguish the two cases on the grounds that the New York Times is a more responsible media outlet than WikiLeaks. But the First Amendment does not recognize degrees of responsibility. Indeed, when the First Amendment was written, our nation was plagued with irresponsible scandal sheets and broadsides. No one ever described political pamphleteers Thomas Paine or James Callender as responsible journalists.

It is likely, therefore, that a prosecution of Assange for merely publishing classified material would fail. Moreover, Great Britain might be unwilling to extradite Assange for such a "political" crime. That is why prosecutors have chosen to charge him with a different crime: conspiracy to help Manning break into a government computer to steal classified material. Such a crime, if proven beyond a reasonable doubt, would have a far weaker claim to constitutional protection. The courts have ruled that journalists may not break the law in an effort to obtain material whose disclosure would be protected by the First Amendment.

Six big leaks from Julian Assange's WikiLeaks over the years

Six big leaks from Julian Assange's WikiLeaks over the years Julian Assange is considered a champion of freedom of the press by some, while others see him as a dangerous rogue who threatens national security.

It did not say that the newspapers planning to publish the Pentagon Papers could not be prosecuted if they published classified material. The same result would probably follow if Assange were prosecuted for publishing classified material on WikiLeaks, though there is no guarantee that

To talk more about Julian Assange ’s case , we’re joined now by James Goodale. He’s the former general They’re claiming that Assange facilitated the ability of Chelsea Manning to actually break into First, following the Pentagon Papers , the Justice Department was able to convict sources of

The problem with the current effort is that, while it might be legally strong, it seems on the face of the indictment to be factually weak. It alleges that "Assange encouraged Manning to provide information and records" from government agencies. It alleges that "Manning provided Assange with part of a password" and that "Assange requested more information." But it goes on to say that although Assange had "been trying to crack the password," he had "no luck so far." Not the strongest set of facts!

The first question is whether a legal theory based on such inchoate facts will be sufficient for an extradition request to be granted. Even if it is, a grant of extradition could be appealed through several layers of courts, which would take a long time. The second question is what would happen to Assange while these appeals proceeded. If he were locked up, he might well waive extradition in the hope of winning his case in the United States. The third question is whether American prosecutors might amend the indictment to make it legally and factually stronger and, if they did, whether they would do so before or after he was extradited.

How Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning became intertwined

How Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning became intertwined It's been a little more than nine years since Chelsea Manning first contacted Wikileaks and provided Julian Assange's organization with hundreds of thousands of classified documents and a video of an Apache helicopter strike that killed Iraqi insurgents and two photographers working for Reuters. Their life stories have been intertwined since the pair first contacted each other over the internet, but they have never met in person.

Dershowitz also questioned whether the case as it stands, built on what such shaky factual ground, would be sufficient for British legal authorities to grant an extradition request. Media Politics Tech Alan Dershowitz Chelsea Manning Julian Assange New York Times Pentagon Papers WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hasn’t been charged with any crime in the United States yet, but he is preparing for the possibility that he will be sooner or later — in a “This is the Pentagon Papers case for the 21st Century,” he told me today. “This is a very important test case , because it tests the

The last question is whether Manning will testify against Assange. It is not clear whether prosecutors really need her testimony or whether they can make the case based on emails and other documents, but her testimony surely would be helpful if she were to corroborate or expand on the paper trail. President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017 and she was freed from prison, but she was jailed last month for refusing to testify against Assange before a grand jury. She could be given immunity from further prosecution and compelled to testify. But if she refused, would they keep her in prison?

There are lots of moving parts to this process, all of which make its outcome and timetable unpredictable.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. His new book is "The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump." You can follow him on Twitter @AlanDersh.

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