First They Came For Assange: Trump’s War on Truth Will Kill 1st Amendment
Washington, D.C. – America is on the precipice of venturing into dangerous uncharted territory that could essentially destroy what underpins the fabric of American: a free and independent press. If the United States attempts to arrest and prosecute Julian Assange, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated, he will become the first journalist in modern history to be prosecuted in an American courtroom for publishing classified information – something regularly undertaken by traditional media outlets.
While WikiLeaks may not appear to be a traditional journalism outlet, there is no question that the service they provide – publishing legitimate, accurate, and truthful information from sources – is exactly what journalism was meant to be.
Make no mistake that attempting to prosecute Assange signals a new and dangerous phase in the United States’ ongoing war on freedom of information, and presents a direct threat to freedom of the press in the U.S.
The Trump administration is attempting to forward the notion that Assange doesn’t have a First Amendment right, as he is not a U.S. citizen. And while true that he is not a U.S. citizen, freedom of information is a universal human right, and isn’t dependent upon U.S. law – nor is it dependent upon being a U.S. citizen — as it is a universal human right of all humans upon birth — with no government permission necessary.
These potential legal actions against Assange will undoubtedly threaten the existence of a truly free press in the United States and could signal a dramatic shift towards totalitarianism.
“Any prosecution would be incredibly dangerous for the First Amendment and pretty much every reporter in the United States,” Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation told Wired. “You can hate WikiLeaks all you want, but if they’re prosecuted, that