WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange facing 17 new U.S. charges

Larry Hoffman
May 24, 2019

"After agreeing to receive classified documents from Manning and aiding, abetting, and causing Manning to provide classified documents, the superseding indictment charges that Assange then published on WikiLeaks classified documents that contained the unredacted names of human sources who provided information to United States forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to U.S. State Department diplomats around the world", prosecutors claim.

The new Espionage Act charges go far beyond an initial indictment against Assange made public last month that accused him of conspiring with Manning to crack a defense computer password.

USA officials have asked British authorities to extradite Assange.

According to the indictment, she gave Assange and WikiLeaks information related to "approximately 90,000 Afghanistan war-related significant activity reports, 400,000 Iraq war-related significant activities reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, and 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables".

"Julian Assange is no journalist", said John Demers, the Justice Department's Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

Assange was previously indicted in April on a single-count conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge for his role coordinating with Manning.

Assange will remain in London, where he faces a year in prison for failing to appear in court.

The new charges dramatically raise the stakes of the case both for Julian Assange and the news media.

The indictment alleges messages between Manning and Assange where they discuss a "shared philosophy" aimed at, in the government's words, "subvert [ing] lawful measures imposed by the United States government to safeguard and secure classified information, in order to disclose that information to the public and inspire others with access to do the same".

None of the new charges involve WikiLeaks' publication of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.

"I hope he gets out of there, but I don't think he'll survive extradition". He was arrested that day, April 11, by British police as he left the embassy.

He was sentenced to 50 weeks behind bars for absconding while on bail. Assange denies the allegations.

She is now back in jail after refusing to testify. She told the judge she "would rather starve to death" than testify.

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