Julian Assange Probably Safe from the Zealous Department of Justice. For Now. Probably.

Come on out, Assange. It's totally safe. These giant nets? They're for catching butterflies. Stop being paranoid.Realizing that attempting
to throw Julian Assange in prison for leaking classified documents
through WikiLeaks would put the federal government inevitably in a
collision course with America’s own media, the Department of
Justice appears to be
pulling back
, for now. From The Washington

The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring
charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing
classified documents because government lawyers said they could not
do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and
journalists, according to U.S. officials.

The officials stressed that a formal decision has not been made,
and a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks remains impaneled, but
they said there is little possibility of bringing a case against
Assange, unless he is implicated in criminal activity other than
releasing online top-secret military and diplomatic documents.

The Obama administration has charged government employees and
contractors who leak classified information — such as former
National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and former Army
intelligence analyst Bradley Manning — with violations of the
Espionage Act. But officials said that although Assange published
classified documents, he did not leak them, something they said
significantly affects their legal analysis.

A former spokesman for the DOJ said they could not see any way
to prosecute Assange for what he’s done without having to prosecute
journalists at places like the New York Times or The
Washington Post

Read the full story

I imagine we should be glad that they didn’t just decide the
opposite and start prosecuting the journalists, too, the way the
Department of Justice has been operating these days.

A statement sent out from WikiLeaks in response to the story
suggests they’re not buying it:

The anonymous assertion that Julian Assange may not be indicted
for publication of classified documents, even if true, only deals
with a small part of the grand jury investigation. That
investigation has been primarily concerned with trying to prove
somehow that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were involved, not merely
in publication, but in a conspiracy with their sources. There is
also the question as to the status of the DoJ investigations into
WikiLeaks involvement in the Stratfor and Snowden matters.

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/26/julian-assange-probably-safe-from-the-ze

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