I’m not defending Assange or his actions, but these are some thoughts to consider on calls for his prosecution:
- He’s not a US citizen, nor were his crimes committed in the US, so he can’t be tried for treason.
- The foreign agent handlers who recruited and received US classified information from US spies [e.g., Robert Hanson, Jonathon Pollard, etc.] were never prosecuted as they were not US citizens.
- Hillary Clinton was never prosecuted for stealing classified US personnel files on US politicians and keeping them in her White House bedroom. [Is it odd that State Department files should find their way into the public domain on her watch?]
- He received the documents outside the US, and distributed them via the internet and to news organizations; he did not provide them directly to enemies of the US.5) News organizations, e.g., the NYT, published the cables — which would theoretically make them as culpable as Assange. If Assange receives and publishes classified documents, he’s a criminal; if the NYT receives and publishes classified documents, it’s news.
- We continue to look at the wrong people for this travesty. Who granted Manning the clearance to access this information?
- Will this embroglio serve as a means to shut down Wikileaks, which does serve a purpose in publishing inside information about government and corporate scandals — which the news media routinely fails to publish?
- Does anyone find it strange that Assange has been arrested on a Swedish charge of rape, considering he is gay?