Julian Assange’s partner visits him in prison: Julian in “a lot of pain”

August 25, 2020

Stella Morris, Julian Assange’s partner, took their two children to visit their father in prison for the first time in almost six months. During the visit, Stella saw firsthand that Julian is in “a lot of pain,” and that he looked “a lot thinner” than the last time she was able to visit. Stella is currently raising funds to fight Julian’s extradition to the U.S. as the extradition hearings are set to resume on September 7.

Former Guardian editor: Assange case has press freedom implications

August 21, 2020

Julian Assange’s case is critical for journalists around the world. If Julian is extradited to face charges that carry with them 175 years in prison, the boundaries of press freedom could be forever narrowed. Alan Rusbridger, a 20 year veteran editor of The Guardian, agrees. Rusbridger noted that Assange’s extradition would set a “very alarming precedent” for journalists publishing in the public interest worldwide.

Lawyers Speak Out for Assange

August 17, 2020

After the U.S. released a fresh extradition request for Julian Assange, 169 lawyers, scholars, and human rights groups wrote an open letter in support of Julian. The letter touched on Julian’s rights as a journalist, activist, and human being. According to the letter, extraditing Julian would violate “national and international law, human rights, and the rule of law.”

Will alleged CIA misbehavior set Julian Assange free?

January 13, 2020

The U.S. government’s misconduct in pursuing Julian is compared to its treatment of another prominent advocate for the public’s right to know: Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. In the light of revelations that the CIA spied on Julian in the Ecuadorian embassy, famed lawyer James Goodale — who defended the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case and later chaired the Committee to Protect Journalists — explores the legal ramifications of the U.S. government’s relentless pursuit of Julian. Goodale argues that the CIA’s behavior toward Assange “seems indistinguishable” from what was done to Ellsberg, which should force the courts to dismiss the government’s case.

The Julian Assange indictment seeks to punish pure publication

May 24, 2019

Lawfare contributor Gabe Rottman of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press notes that the shocking implications of the Espionage Act indictment of Julian Assange. According to the indictment, three of the charges against Julian are purely based on WikiLeaks’ “publishing on the internet,” opening the door to prosecuting journalists any time the government can claim “national security harm.” Rottman also points out that 13 of the remaining charges are based on Julian working with the source of the leaks — standard news-gathering behavior. The only time the Espionage Act was applied to this behavior by a non-governmental party was the prosecution of AIPAC lobbyists who sought to pass leaked documents to Israel. Those defendants were not engaged in journalistic activity and the case against them was dropped.

The U.S. Media is in the crosshairs of the Julian Assange indictment

May 2, 2019

Harvard professor and former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith writes that Julian’s prosecution “would have adverse implications for mainstream U.S. news publications’ efforts to solicit, receive and publish classified information.” Goldsmith, who worked in the Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush, notes that the press provides an important check on abuse of power, and that the actions Julian is being prosecuted for are “exactly what national security reporters and their news publications” do all the time.

Pentagon Papers lawyer: The indictment of Assange is a snare and a delusion

April 14, 2019

April 14, 2019

Pentagon Papers lawyer James Goodale notes in The Hill how the original U.S. indictment of Julian Assange does not include Espionage Act charges — as the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty prohibits extradition for “political purposes.” With Julian charged with violating U.S. laws on hacking government computers, Goodale recounts his experience in the Pentagon Papers case and observes a startling similarity that makes the charges against Julian dubious. Working with a source is standard journalistic conduct and protected by the First Amendment. Goodale’s prediction that this could be a “bait and switch” and “the tip of the legal iceberg” has proven correct: the U.S. government ultimately added Espionage Act counts against Julian.


James Goodale: More Than a Data Dump – Why Julian Assange deserves First Amendment protection

April 1, 2019

From Harpers Magazine: Famed press lawyer James Goodale, who successfully fought the U.S. government in the Pentagon Papers case, argues that Julian Assange’s journalistic activities deserve First Amendment protection. Goodale, the former general counsel for the New York Times who has been dubbed “the father of reporter’s privilege” for his tireless advocacy for press freedom, laments the early reluctance of mainstream media outlets (like the Times) to stand up for Julian. The prosecution of Julian could mark “the end of national security reporting.”