Legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in London could have far-reaching consequences for press freedoms.
The WikiLeaks founder faces an ever-evolving array of espionage and hacking charges related to the release of diplomatic cables that revealed war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assange faces almost certain conviction, if extradited, and 175 years in prison. “The American press has remained in kind of a state of denial for 40 years, really, since my case, that the Espionage Act has wording in it that could be aimed directly at them,” says Ellsberg, who testified in Assange’s defense at his extradition trial via video stream from the United States.
“Now the American press is staring right down the barrel at the use of the Espionage Act against American journalists and publishers for doing journalism.”
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