DOJ’s Coercive Tactics Unleashed on Julian Assange

U.S. Justice Department Pressures Journalists in Prosecution of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and the FBI have been accused of pressuring British journalists to assist in the prosecution of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Rolling Stones journalist James Ball revealed that he is among the journalists who have faced vague threats and pressure tactics to cooperate. This article will explore the DOJ’s efforts to build a case against Assange, the charges he faces, and the impact of his potential extradition to the U.S. on freedom of the press

Pressure Mounts on British Journalists

Rolling Stones journalist James Ball has spoken out about the U.S. Justice Department’s attempts to pressure British journalists into cooperating in the prosecution of Julian Assange. Ball revealed that he was first contacted by the Metropolitan Police in December 2021 and has since learned that other journalists have also been approached. The DOJ is seeking Ball’s help due to his brief tenure with Assange and his whistleblowing activities, which shed light on WikiLeaks’ ethical lapses. This article will delve further into the pressure tactics employed by U.S. authorities and the implications for press freedom.

Assange’s Legal Battle and Extradition Threat

Julian Assange is currently facing an uphill legal battle against potential extradition from London to the U.S. He is accused of publishing classified U.S. military documents leaked to him by Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. soldier. The leaked documents exposed war crimes committed by the U.S. government, including instances of torture and rendition. Assange’s extradition would lead to him facing 17 charges under the espionage act, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 175 years. This section will explore the timeline of Assange’s detainment and the dropping of sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.

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Pressure Tactics Used Against Journalists

The DOJ and FBI have been employing “vague threats and pressure tactics” in their bid to obtain cooperation from British journalists in building a case against Julian Assange. The article highlights how journalists such as James Ball, David Leigh, Heather Brooke, and Andrew O’Hagan have been contacted by law enforcement. Ball revealed the contents of an email from a police officer requesting a voluntary witness interview, emphasizing that journalists are not under investigation. This section will delve into the details of these pressure tactics and highlight the potential consequences for journalists who refuse to cooperate.

International Support and Political Response

Julian Assange’s case has garnered international attention, with calls from lawmakers in the U.S., Australia, and other countries to drop the charges against him. Representative Rashida Tlaib led a letter to the DOJ urging them to end the prosecution. The article also mentions Pope Francis’ meeting with Assange’s wife, Stella, during which he expressed support for their family’s situation and concern about Assange’s well-being. This section will explore the political response to Assange’s case and the growing support for him worldwide.

The Hypocrisy of Biden’s DOJ

The actions of the DOJ under President Biden have drawn criticism for potentially infringing on First Amendment rights and press freedom. Some argue that it contradicts the administration’s claims of standing up for civil liberties. This section will discuss the implications of silencing mainstream journalism and the hypocrisy surrounding Assange’s prosecution. The article will also examine the Obama administration’s decision not to indict Assange and the subsequent change in approach under the Trump administration.

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Conclusion

The pressure on British journalists by the U.S. Justice Department raises concerns about the freedom of the press and raises questions about the selective prosecution of whistleblowers. Julian Assange’s potential extradition to the U.S. and the charges he faces have garnered international attention and attracted support from lawmakers and public figures. The legal battle surrounding Assange’s case has significant implications for press freedom, as it sets a precedent for future cases involving the publication of classified information. As the case unfolds, it remains to be seen how the DOJ’s efforts to build a case against Assange will impact the rights of journalists and the future of investigative journalism.