The Prosecution of Julian Assange Absolutely Threatens Freedom of the Press

The Constitution does not forbid attacks on the freedom of the press because its notoriously vain founders loved the printers who, in the early years of the republic, produced what President George Washington did spurned as “devilish … shameful acts against good decency”.

Washington’s thin-skinned successor, John Adams, had a printer arrested for allegedly defaming the president “in a way that tends to arouse insurrection and opposition to the law.” Adams signed Aliens and sedition lawswhich made it a crime to “write, print, speak, or publish malicious scriptures or documents against the United States Government or any chambers of Congress of the United States or the President of the United States”. He then had one of his leading critics, Matthew LyonHe was tried and jailed after the Vermont representative ridiculed the “second president’s ridiculous pomp”. Lyon, it was charged, was “an evil and seditious person, of a depraved spirit and of an evil and diabolical disposition”. Thomas Jefferson, who was no stranger to the scandal, was similarly loveless. He regretted “The putrid state our newspapers have gotten into, and the malevolence, vulgarity and mendacious spirit of those who write for them.”

In other words, the founders blamed the printing publishers of their day with a language as poisonous as contemporary US officials when they speak of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher proposed by the Biden administration, 2010 espionage allegations to collect publication of evidence for “Collateral murder“Atrocities committed by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange draws bipartisan sharpness. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell referred to him as “a high-tech terrorist. “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2016 campaign targeted WikiLeaks data dumps, has said, “The bottom line is [Assange] must answer for what he has done, at least as it is charged. “

Last week a UK court found that Assange could be delivered to the United States to be indicted by the Justice Department on alleged involvement in a hacking conspiracy involving former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to reveal classified information.


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