Saturday, December 04, 2010
The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange
David Samuels, The Atlantic, Dec 3 2010
Julian Assange and Pfc Bradley Manning have done a huge public service by making hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents available on Wikileaks — and, predictably, no one is grateful. Manning, a former army intelligence analyst in Iraq, faces up to 52 years in prison. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia, where he is not allowed to see his parents or other outside visitors.
Assange, the organizing brain of Wikileaks, enjoys a higher degree of freedom living as a hunted man in England under the close surveillance of domestic and foreign intelligence agencies — but probably not for long. Not since President Richard Nixon directed his minions to go after Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan – “a vicious antiwar type,” an enraged Nixon called him on the Watergate tapes — has a working journalist and his source been subjected to the kind of official intimidation and threats that have been directed at Assange and Manning by high-ranking members of the Obama Administration.