THE US GOVERNMENT might be about to press charges against Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks who was recently jailed in the UK on an international Interpol arrest warrant, pending his possible extradition to Sweden on accusations of alleged sexual misconduct.
According to Jennifer Robinson, one of Assange's lawyers, an indictment of her client under the US Espionage Act is imminent.
Robinson told The Guardian that her team had heard from several different US lawyers that an indictment was on its way or had happened already.
The rumour is that Washington is seeking to prosecute Mr Assange under the infamous 1917 Espionage Act, which was used unsuccessfully to threaten The New York Times when it published the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s. The US did attempt to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg, the actual leaker of the Pentagon Papers, but that trial foundered on prosecutorial misconduct after US government spooks burgled the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist looking to dig up dirt on him.
Of course the US government is no more likely to prevail in any prosecution of Assange and most legal experts claim that it would be daft for the US try it. After all, Wikileaks is the press, a publisher just like the New York Times, so the US government can't honestly indict him or Wikileaks without also putting its national 'newspaper of record' in the dock alongside him, along with a frontal attack on the 1st Amendement to the US Constitution.
But then the US Espionage Act has always been a travesty and arguably unconstitunional on its face, and was last successfully used to brutally suppress legitimate peaceful dissent in the US during World War I.
However Robinson said that Washington is "looking closely at other charges, such as computer charges." Charges like those aren't very likely to fly either, unless US prosecutors can prove that Assange personally hacked into its seemingly not too secure US State Department network.
Assange is presently in Wandsworth prison in south London after having been refused bail. He has refused to agree to voluntary extradition to Sweden over questionable allegations of sexual misconduct.
Robinson said Assange is in solitary confinement in London with restricted access to a phone and his lawyers. She claimed that he is under significant surveillance and has more restrictive conditions than other prisoners.
Meanwhile any chance of silencing Wikileaks has evaporated, as the website has by now been mirrored 1885 times. That's already around six times the number of mirrors that existed late last week and the count is continuing to grow by about two to three hundred websites every day.
According to Prison Planet, even the CIA has gotten in on the act and is hosting a server that has a mirror of the Wikileaks website on it.
The bloke who runs server hosting the mirrored website claims he has no idea how his domain name ended up owned by CIA. µ
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