“Publishing Is Not a Crime”: The New York Times Joins the Assange Fight

In a remarkable event this week, The New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, DER SPIEGEL, and El Pas signed an open letter calling for the U.S. government to drop the charges against Julian Assange for acquiring and disclosing sensitive military and diplomatic secrets.

The letter says that publishing is legal. “The U.S. should stop prosecuting Julian Assange for revealing secrets.”

Other powerful campaigners from around the world have also spoken out in support of Assange. Lula da Silva and Albanese want Assange’s accusations dropped. Lula wished Julian Assange freedom.

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Assange is appealing his extradition to the US in the U.K. High Court. Assange has been in a London high-security jail for three and a half years, fighting extradition to face Espionage Act charges.

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The five media outlets that signed the petition urging Assange’s acquittal published “Cable Gate” alongside WikiLeaks in 2010.

251,000 classified State Department cables “disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals, and espionage affairs on an international scale.”

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The New York Times called these records “the unvarnished narrative of how the government makes its major judgments, the ones that cost the nation most severely in lives and money.”

No publisher or broadcaster has been charged with espionage. “This charge sets a dangerous precedent and threatens to damage America’s First Amendment and freedom of the press,” the letter adds.

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