Quantcast
Connect with us

Mukasey: Prosecute Assange because it’s ‘easier’ than prosecuting New York Times

Published

on

It’s come to the attention of some observers that there isn’t much the US can charge Julian Assange with that it can’t charge the New York Times with as well.

After all, the founder of WikiLeaks and the US’s pre-eminent major daily both basically did the same thing: They published confidential State Department cables allegedly stolen by Pfc. Bradley Manning.

ADVERTISEMENT

But for Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s last attorney general, the matter is clear cut: The US should prosecute Assange because it’s “easier” than prosecuting a major news outlet.

Pressed by the Wall Street Journal‘s Paul Gigot to explain how the US could prosecute Assange and not the Times — the first US news source to publish the State Department cables — Mukasey said, “The distinction I’m drawing is that it is easier, from a policy standpoint, to prosecute Assange. There’s a clearer case with respect to Assange. With regard to the Times, I think, just as a matter of discretion, I would hold back.”

The argument that only prosecutorial “discretion” stands in the way of journalists being arrested for publishing the WikiLeaks documents will surely add fuel to the fire of critics who say that an Assange prosecution would be an attack on freedom of the press.

Mukasey said he would like to see Assange prosecuted under two clauses of the 1917 Espionage Act, “one of which criminalizes the publication of defense-related information, and the other of which criminalizes the publication of classified information.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Gigot pointed out that there has never been a prosecution under the 1917 Espionage Act, and that the Supreme Court has never ruled on its constitutional validity. Mukasey, who described the law as “an oldie but goodie,” was confident that the Supreme Court would uphold it as a reasonable limitation on freedom of speech.

Yet Mukasey agreed that the US government keeps “too many secrets.”

Declassifying lots of government information “would help,” Mukasey said, adding that there should be more safeguards to alert the government to stolen data. “I think that it would also help to put some controls in, the same way that you’re–when you use your credit card, at some point, if charges start being run up that are unusual, you get a call asking whether you’re vacationing in the Bahamas or whether you’ve just bought $10,000 worth of stereo equipment.”

ADVERTISEMENT

This video is from Fox News’ The Journal Editorial Report, broadcast Dec. 11, 2010.


Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

Published

on

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine, about the president's fitness for office. Lee helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She authored the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” which shows how the dangerous psychology of individuals is connected to dangerous societies and cultures, including their politics and economics. She and several coauthors of the public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” prepared a mental health analysis of the president using information in the Mueller report (dangerouscase.org).

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump says he’s ‘very seriously’ looking at changing constitutionally-mandated right to US citizenship

Published

on

President Donald Trump says he is looking “very seriously” at altering a constitutional right to citizenship at birth. The president made his remarks during a press gaggle during which he also called himself “the chosen one” as he looked up at the sky. Those remarks came just hours after he tweeted praise calling him “the second coming of God” and “the King of Israel.”

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Trump could not stop ranting about Obama when asked about cancelled Denmark trip during rambling 40-minute press gaggle

Published

on

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, responding to President Donald Trump’s offer to purchase Greenland, stressed that the island is not for sale — and Trump responded this week by canceling a trip to Denmark he had planned. Trump has maintained that he believes Frederiksen was being disrespectful, and during a press conference outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump used the cancelation as an excuse to bash former President Barack Obama — telling reporters that foreign countries, including Denmark, cannot get away with the type of disrespect they showed the United States when Obama was in the White House.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image