Should Julian Assange be charged?

Johnson City Press • Apr 14, 2019 at 5:38 PM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday in London after apparently overstaying his welcome of seven years under asylum protections in the Ecuadorian embassy.

He now faces extradition back to the United States to answer charges that he conspired with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal and publish classified documents.

Indictments revealed last week accuse him of trying to help Manning crack a password to access Defense Department computers storing the information. The charge, conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

In 2010, Manning downloaded thousands of secret reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department cables and information about Guantanamo Bay detainees. Manning passed the classified information to WikiLeaks, which published it on the internet.

Assange and his attorneys said he is a foreign journalist and denounce the U.S. charges as an attempt to punish him for publishing truthful information.

The nearly decade-old case raises important First Amendment questions, so we want to ask you.

Should Julian Assange be charged in the U.S.? Should the charges he currently faces be more or less serious?

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