Assange: Manning Verdict Could Spell 'End of National Security Journalism'

Monday, 29 Jul 2013 06:01 PM

By Greg Richter

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As U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning awaits his fate from a military judge on Tuesday, the man who published the secrets he released said he fears for the fate of journalism.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told CNN Monday that the most serious charge facing Manning is "aiding the enemy." The U.S. government maintains Bradley aided al-Qaida when he gave WikiLeaks huge amounts of diplomatic cables and classified military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks published the information online, and Assange is now holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, fearing extradition to the United States on similar charges.

Assange says Manning's release of the information, the biggest leak in U.S. history, inspired the Arab Spring uprising and that Manning is a hero.

Manning has been in custody for three years and has pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges against him. If convicted of aiding the enemy, the 25-year-old could receive life in prison.

That outcome would set a bad precedent, Assange said, for anyone giving information to a journalist who then publishes it.

"It will be the end of national security journalism in the United States," Assange said.

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