Julian ASSANGE probably is a bona fide “enemy of the State;” not sure that is actually an official US Government term. However, since the first hoopla about Bradley MANNING and Wiki-leaks came out a couple of years ago, I’m not sure the troops have been adequately warned that reading Wiki-leaks sites is proscribed. At that time, the orders were explicit. I’m not sure they were legal, particularly as they would apply to using privately owned equipment and internet accounts. Government is probably OK w/r/t USG equipment and accounts. In that regard, I suspect that US Cyber Command has every Wikileaks site it can find physically blocked from access from DoD computers or accounts.)
Melbourne Age (Australia), September 27, 2012, Pg. 1
Extradition could end in military detention
By Philip Dorling
The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States — the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with “communicating with the enemy”, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
The documents, some originally classified “Secret/NoForn” — not releasable to non-US nationals — record a probe by the air force’s Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro- Assange demonstrations in London.
The counter-intelligence investigation focused on whether the analyst, who had a top-secret security clearance and access to the US military’s Secret Internet Protocol Router network, had disclosed classified or sensitive information to WikiLeaks supporters, described as an “anti-US and/ or anti-military group”.
The suspected offence was “communicating with the enemy, 104-D”, an article in the US Uniform Code of Military Justice that prohibits military personnel from “communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy”.
The analyst’s access to classified information was suspended. However, the investigators closed the case without laying charges. The analyst denied leaking information.
Assange remains holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London. He was granted diplomatic asylum on the grounds that if extradited to Sweden to be questioned about sexual assault allegations, he would be at risk of further extradition to the US to face espionage or conspiracy charges arising from the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.
Assange is scheduled to speak by video link at 7am today to a meeting on his asylum case on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
US Vice-President Joe Biden labelled Assange a “high-tech terrorist” in December 2010 and US congressional leaders have called for him to be charged with espionage. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee — both once involved in presidential campaigns — have both urged that Assange be “hunted down”.
Assange’s US attorney, Michael Ratner, said the designation of WikiLeaks as an “enemy” had serious implications for the WikiLeaks publisher if he were to be extradited to the US, including possible military detention.
US Army private Bradley Manning faces a court martial charged with aiding the enemy — identified as al-Qaeda — by transmitting information that, published by WikiLeaks, became available to the enemy.
Mr Ratner said that under US law it would likely have been considered criminal for the US Air Force analyst to communicate classified material to journalists and publishers, but those journalists and publishers would not have been considered the enemy or prosecuted.
“However, in the FOI documents there is no allegation of any actual communication for publication that would aid an enemy of the United States such as al-Qaeda, nor are there allegations that WikiLeaks published such information,” he said.
“Almost the entire set of documents is concerned with the analyst’s communications with people close to and supporters of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, with the worry that she would disclose classified documents to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
“It appears that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the ‘enemy’. An enemy is dealt with under the laws of war, which could include killing, capturing, detaining without trial, etc. It would seem incumbent on the United States to affirm that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are not the enemy.”
The Australian government has repeatedly denied knowledge of any US intention to charge Assange or seek his extradition. But Australian diplomatic cables released to Fairfax Media under freedom- ofinformation laws over the past 18 months have confirmed the continuation of an “unprecedented” US Justice Department espionage investigation targeting Assange and WikiLeaks.
The Australian diplomatic reports canvassed the possibility that the US may eventually seek Assange’s extradition on conspiracy or information-theft-related offences to avoid extradition problems arising from the nature of espionage as a political offence and the free-speech protections in the US constitution.
In a separate FOI decision yesterday, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the release of Australian diplomatic cables about WikiLeaks and Assange had been the subject of extensive consultation with the US.
Phi Beta Iota: This is recycled old news but some may not recognize it. Bradley Manning was charged with “aiding the enemy” and the USAF threatened not just AIr Force employees but their spouses and children with an absolute prohibition against using personal time and personal computers to access any Wikileaks document anywhere on the planet.
See Also (Assange in Headline):
See Also (WIkileaks in Headline):