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Ellsberg: Trump Threats to WikiLeaks "Nuclear Option" Against the First Amendment

Statement by Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower: "Obama having opened the legal campaign against the press by going after the roots of investigative reporting on national security -- the sources -- Trump is going to go after the gatherers/gardeners themselves (and their bosses, publishers). To switch the metaphor, an indictment of Assange is a 'first use' of 'the nuclear option' against the First Amendment protection of a free press. (By the way, the charges they're reportedly considering against him -- conspiracy, theft, and violation of the Espionage Act -- are exactly the charges I faced in 1971.)

 

"If journalists and publishers fail to call this out, denounce and resist it -- on the spurious grounds that Julian is 'not a real journalist' like themselves -- they're offering themselves up to Trump and Sessions for indictments and prosecutions, which will eventually silence all but the heroes and heroines among them."

The statement by Ellsberg was read by Army veteran and retired diplomat Ann Wright at a news conference Friday morning outside the Department of Justice organized by ExposeFacts, a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy