Keep Calm and Report On: The Case Against Julian Assange

By Walter Pincus

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Walter Pincus is a contributing senior national security columnist for The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics that ranged from nuclear weapons to politics. He is the author of Blown to Hell: America's Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders. Pincus won an Emmy in 1981 and was the recipient of the Arthur Ross Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy in 2010.  He was also a team member for a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 and the George Polk Award in 1978.  

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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