Former AG: U.S. Should Go After WikiLeaks Leader Instead of NY Times Because it's "Easier"

As the latest WikiLeaks drama has unfolded over the past few weeks, there's been much discussion about why the U.S. government is expending so much energy trying to attack Julian Assange while taking no steps to go after the New York Times -- even though both WIkiLeaks and the Times have been publishing the latest batch of leaked government cables.

Luckily, former attorney general under George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey, is here to clear things up for us, noting that the U.S. should prosecute Assange because it's "easier" than prosecuting a news outlet like the Times.

The distinction I'm drawing is that it is easier, from a policy standpoint, to prosecute Assange. There's a clearer case with respect to Assange. With regard to the Times, I think, just as a matter of discretion, I would hold back.

It's not good reasoning, but it's honest, from the vantage point point of the U.S. government.

Although Mukasey agreed that the government keeps "too many secrets," he parroted the absurd notion that's been flying around that Assange, a non-U.S. citizen, be charged under the 1917 Espionage Act -- even though no one has ever been prosecuted under that law, nor has the Supreme Court ever ruled on its constitutional validity. Mukasey called the law as "an oldie but goodie" and said he was confident that the Supreme Court would uphold it as a "reasonable limitation on freedom of speech."

Read more at Raw Story.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at December 13, 2010, 4:24am

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