After years of ducking questions and some questionable congressional testimony it appears the Justice Department has finally confirmed that its War on Journalism does include Wikileaks. According to the New York Times the investigation is extensive.
Interviews with government agents, prosecutors and others familiar with the WikiLeaks investigation, as well as an examination of court documents, suggest that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks are being investigated by several government agencies, along with a grand jury that has subpoenaed witnesses…
In response to recent questions from The New York Times and others, a Justice Department spokesman confirmed that it “has an investigation into matters involving WikiLeaks, and that investigation remains ongoing,” but he declined to offer any details.
But the head of the NSA doesn’t even know “who Wikileaks are.” How strange.
WikiLeaks maintains it was functioning as a publisher by enabling the release of information in the public interest, and it has frequently been a partner with traditional news organizations, including The New York Times and The Guardian. If the government charged WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange as co-conspirators, it would be arguing that, unlike their partners, they are not journalists…
The Times has never been contacted as part of a WikiLeaks investigation said David E. McCraw, its assistant general counsel. “But I would note that the proposed shield law,” he said, describing new legislation that the administration says is an effort to shield journalists from prosecution, “tries to define Wiki-like publishers out of the definition of news organizations.”
And I would like to note yet again that there is a National Security exemption in the Obama Administration’s “shield law.” Making it mostly window dressing anyway. You can be a journalist provided you don’t tell the public anything the government doesn’t want you to.
The AP has already reported a chilling effect after the government was caught spying on them. Will the Wikileaks prosecution strike another blow against journalism and whistle-blowers? Does America have a First Amendment anymore?