Keep Calm and Report On: The Case Against Julian Assange

| Walter Pincus
Walter Pincus
Columnist, The Cipher Brief

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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The Author is Walter Pincus

Walter Pincus is a Columnist and the Senior National Security Reporter at The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics from nuclear weapons to politics.  In 2002, he and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. He also won an Emmy in 1981 and the 2010 Arthur Ross Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy.  He can be reached at [email protected]

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