OPINION — U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials have treated WikiLeaks as a hostile, foreign intelligence service and Julian Assange, its director, as a potential target for criminal prosecution, since the Obama administration.
Last week’s inadvertent disclosure of a sealed federal indictment against Assange in Federal District Court in Eastern Virginia, has set off speculation that charges may include the publication of classified information – an allegation that has prompted debate about press freedom and First Amendment rights. But journalists should remain calm, since there are likely several charges that form the basis of the indictment that do not threaten the independence of journalists.
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