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Can Wikileaks be prosecuted for telling the truth?

Prosecuting WikiLeaks: It’s Not Going To Be Easy : NPR NPR, 1 Dec 10, Law enforcement officials in the United States and around the world are turning up the heat on the website WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. But all the attention doesn’t mean that they will face American-style justice, experts said, because the legal issues in play are both novel and challenging.
A team of prosecutors and FBI agents in Virginia are aggressively looking at who can be prosecuted using the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law, sources told NPR.

Military prosecutors have already locked up Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has been accused in the military justice system of passing information to WikiLeaks.

Experts said that making a case against a government employee who promised to keep the nation’s secrets is pretty easy from a legal standpoint. By contrast, Washington defense attorney Abbe Lowell said, prosecuting the website WikiLeaks is no slam-dunk.

“The biggest taboo that has been out there, sort of the dirty little secret in the Espionage Act for a long time, has been whether it would ever be used to prosecute somebody in the media, as opposed to the government employee leaking the information,” Lowell said.

The dilemma, Lowell said, is whether WikiLeaks is a member of the media that warrants special free speech protections, or more like a rogue operation dedicated to hurting the U.S.

“What I worry about and what many worry about is that WikiLeaks makes it easy for the law enforcement community to apply this law for the first time, in a precedent-setting way, that can be used against other people in the media,” Lowell said……………..

The Justice Department said people shouldn’t expect any criminal charges soon — one more reflection of the difficult legal challenges that this case presents….

Prosecuting WikiLeaks: It’s Not Going To Be Easy : NPR

December 2, 2010 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, Legal |

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