Thursday, May 30, 2019

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Is Not A Journalist - He's A Spy

The Philadelphia Inquirer offers Marc Thiessen’s column on why Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, is a spy and not a journalist.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called WikiLeaks a “nonstate hostile intelligence service.” Apparently Julian Assange agrees. In its new 18-count indictment of Assange for multiple violations of the Espionage Act, the Justice Department notes that Assange told former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning that WikiLeaks had originally described itself as an “intelligence agency” for the people.

Now, at long last, the head of that enemy intelligence agency is facing a possible 175 years in a federal penitentiary for his theft of American secrets.

The damage Assange has done is unfathomable. In 2010, he exploded what he called his “thermonuclear device” — releasing a tranche of more than a quarter of a million classified State Department diplomatic cables, all unredacted. According to the indictment, those cables “included names of persons throughout the world who provided information to the U.S. government in circumstances in which they could reasonably expect that their identities would be kept confidential. These sources included journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents who were living in repressive regimes and reported to the United States the abuses of their own government, and the political conditions within their countries, at great risk to their own safety.”

The indictment cites specific examples of sources WikiLeaks burned inside China, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Moreover, Assange’s decision to release 90,000 Afghanistan war-related activity reports also revealed the identities of at least 100 Afghans who were informing on the Taliban. The indictment quotes a New York Times interview with a Taliban leader who told the paper, “We are studying the report. We knew about the spies and people who collaborate with U.S. forces. We will investigate through our own secret service whether the people mentioned are really spies working for the U.S. If they are U.S. spies, then we know how to punish them.”

… Some are concerned that the newest Assange indictment will help set a precedent to go after investigative journalists who publish classified information. But as I wrote in 2010, unlike “reputable news organizations, Assange did not give the U.S. government an opportunity to review the classified information WikiLeaks was planning to release so they could raise national security objections.” So responsible journalists have nothing to fear.

Regardless, Assange is not a journalist. He is a spy. The fact that he gave stolen U.S. intelligence to al-Qaida, the Taliban, China, Iran and other adversaries via a website rather than dead-drops is irrelevant. He engaged in espionage against the United States. And he has no remorse for the harm he has caused. He once called the innocent people hurt by his disclosures “collateral damage” and admitted WikiLeaks might get “blood on our hands.” 

You can read the rest of the column via the below link: 

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