President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder will be getting around to WikiLeaks' proprietor, Julian Assange, just as soon as they figure out which law the New Black Panthers might have violated by standing outside a polling place with billy clubs.
These legal eagles are either giving the press a lot of disinformation about the WikiLeaks investigation or they are a couple of Elmer Fudds who can't find their own butts without a map.Since Holder apparently wasn't watching Fox News a few weeks ago, I'll repeat myself and save the taxpayers the cost of Holder's legal assistants having to pore through the federal criminal statutes starting with the A's.
Among the criminal laws apparently broken by Assange is 18 U.S.C. 793(e), which provides:
"Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, (etc. etc.) relating to the national defense, ... (which) the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates (etc. etc) the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same (etc) ...
"Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."
As is evident, merely being in unauthorized possession of classified national security documents that could be used to harm this country and publishing those documents constitutes a felony.
There's no exception for albinos with webpages -- or "journalists." Journalists are people, too!
Depending on the facts adduced at trial, there are about a half-dozen other federal laws that might apply to the WikiLeaks document dump, including 18 USC 641, which provides that any person who "receives" or "retains" a "thing of value of the United States" knowing "it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted" is also guilty of a felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Classified information is valuable government property.
The entire public discussion about prosecuting Assange has been neurotically fixated on the First Amendment, as if that matters. Is Assange a "journalist"? What kind of journalist? Who is a "journalist" in the world of the Internet?
Assange's lawyer, naturally, wraps his client in the First Amendment, saying Assange "is entitled to First Amendment protection as publisher of WikiLeaks."