WikiLeaks founder may face espionage charges
Leaks of classified information could face criminal prosecution
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being investigated by federal authorities for possible espionage charges. The Web site's release of government documents may have violated criminal law under the Espionage Act.
WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange of Australia is being investigated by federal authorities for possible espionage charges.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., along with the Justice Department and Pentagon are conducting "an active, ongoing criminal investigation." Sources say the FBI is examining everyone who came into possession of the documents, including those who gave the materials to WikiLeaks. It must be noted that No charges are imminent, and it is not yet known if any will be brought.
Officials say that prosecutions involving leaked classified information are difficult because the Espionage Act is a 1917 statute that preceded Supreme Court cases that expanded First Amendment protections. The government also would have to persuade another country to turn over Assange, who resides outside of the United States.
Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity say the inquiry is rapidly unfolding. The U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria is involved in the effort. That office brought Espionage Act charges against two former pro-Israel lobbyists which were later dropped.
The Pentagon is leading the investigation and it remains unclear whether any additional charges would be brought in the military or civilian justice systems. Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst suspected of being the source of the WikiLeaks documents, was arrested by the military this year.
Holder was asked how the U.S. could prosecute Assange, who is an Australian citizen. "Let me be very clear," he replied. "It is not saber rattling.
"To the extent there are gaps in our laws," Holder continued, "we will move to close those gaps, which is not to say . . . that anybody at this point, because of their citizenship or their residence, is not a target or a subject of an investigation that's ongoing." He did not indicate that Assange is being investigated for possible violations of the Espionage Act.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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