December 9, 2010
U.S. officials reportedly are hoping to capitalize on the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London this week by having him extradited to this country for criminal prosecution. Based on what is known about WikiLeaks' release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents, that would be a mistake. Assange was jailed in Britain on Tuesday in connection with charges of sexual assault filed against him in Sweden. U.S. officials, meanwhile, are clearly eager to prosecute him for the leaks, if not under the 1917 Espionage Act then for other criminal charges, including receiving stolen property.
December 12, 2010 |
When Julian Assange talks about transparency and our right to know about our government, he has at least a fighting chance of winning over a skeptical public. He stakes out a difficult but righteous position: that the media deserve special latitude to expose government secrets. But when the WikiLeaks leader and his acolytes threaten perceived enemies, fail to condemn cyber attacks, and take on messianic airs, they surrender the high ground and hurt the cause of freedom of information they so vehemently champion.
October 17, 2013 |
In its own Hollywood way, "The Fifth Estate" is quite an ambitious film. It wants to create a viable portrait of Julian Assange, the wildly controversial founder of WikiLeaks, dramatize the significant but complex questions his work raises and surround both of those themes with the kind of personal dramas so beloved by mainstream films. The surprise in this film, starring actor-of-the-moment Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange and Daniel Brühl as his associate Daniel Domscheit-Berg and directed by Bill Condon, is not that all of these goals are met - that would be too much to expect - but which ones are successful and which ones prove to be beyond everyone's grasp.
November 19, 2010 |
Swedish prosecutors won permission Thursday from a Stockholm court to seek an international arrest warrant for Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, whom they want to question about allegations of rape and other sexual offenses. The accusations stem from encounters that Assange, 39, had with two women during a visit to Sweden in August. Assange denies any unlawful conduct, saying that his relations with the women were consensual. But the Swedish Prosecution Authority said it wanted to bring Assange in for questioning and asked the district court in Stockholm to declare him detained in absentia.
March 3, 2011 |
The Army has charged Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier suspected of leaking thousands of documents published by WikiLeaks, with aiding and giving intelligence to the enemy, a significant escalation of the government's prosecution of the junior intelligence analyst. As part of 22 additional counts filed against Manning, Army prosecutors said he "wrongfully and wantonly" caused intelligence to be published on the Internet, with the knowledge that it would be "accessible to the enemy.
June 3, 2013 |
FT. MEADE, Md. - Government prosecutors, hoping to win a life sentence for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning in the WikiLeaks scandal, opened their case Monday in the court-martial against the young enlistee with a slide show that began with an ominous email he sent in May 2010. He wrote, “If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months, what would you do?” What Manning did, Army Cpt. Joe Morrow alleged in the long-awaited trial at Ft. Meade, was download and send to WikiLeaks more than 700,000 classified government documents, including highly sensitive State Department cables and assessments of terror captives, and prisoner interrogation videos to confidential U.S. evaluations of foreign allies.
June 17, 2013 |
LONDON -- Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, is prepared to stay holed up inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London for as long as five years if necessary in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face what he says are politically motivated allegations of sexual assault, the Ecuadorean foreign minister said Monday. Assange is accused of sexually assaulting two women on separate occasions in Stockholm in August 2010. He was arrested in London in December of that year, which began a series of legal appeals by his attorneys to block his extradition to Sweden.
April 2, 2011 |
Got a hard-hitting investigative story but can't get it past government censors at home? Publish it in Iceland instead. What about a website featuring classified, inflammatory or potentially libelous material? Park it on an Internet server here, without fear of legal harassment or official pressure to reveal your sources. Lawmakers here have given the go-ahead to an ambitious plan to turn this unassuming island in the North Atlantic into an international sanctuary for free speech, putting Iceland at the leading edge of media openness but also pushing it into uncharted territory.
January 23, 2013 |
DreamWorks Studios has begun filming the “The Fifth Estate,” a movie about the controversial founder of WikiLeaks. The film, which will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 15 through Disney's Touchstone label, began principal photography last week in Iceland and is filming this week in Berlin. The film also will shoot in Belgium, where it will receive a tax credit. Directed by Bill Condon, "The Fifth Estate" stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, as well as Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie and David Thewlis.
August 19, 2012
Re "Assange gets political asylum from Ecuador," Aug. 17 In 1998, the British government faced a Spanish court's request to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for the assassination, torture and exile of thousands of people. Pinochet was not extradited. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's treatment byBritain's current conservative government offers a sharp contrast with Pinochet's case. Assange never assassinated or tortured anyone, yet he is facing potentially harsher punishment than Pinochet ever would have.