WikiLeaks: Pentagon Papers Injustice Deja Vu
by James C. Goodale
As we mark the 40th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers’ publication, the Obama administration is doggedly trying to charge Julian Assange and WikiLeaks with conspiracy to commit espionage. Now, as then, it amounts to a misguided effort to criminalize journalism—and should fail, says James C. Goodale.
Just in time to spoil the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the Obama Justice Department is trying to do what Richard Nixon couldn’t: indict a media organization.
A grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is under way in Alexandria, Virginia. The Justice Department has already subpoenaed the electronic records of many former WikiLeaks volunteers and at least three people have now been subpoenaed to testify in a case that could potentially criminalize forms of investigative journalism.