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Trump’s Assault on Free Press Under International Spotlight with WikiLeaks Assange’s Extradition Hearing

A meeting will take place for members of the press to address the United States attempt to extradite WikiLeaks’ publisher, Julian Assange. (Location and date not disclosed to general public.)

The meeting will feature Dan Ellsberg, the whistleblower whose release of the Pentagon Papers helped to bring the Viet Nam War to an end, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, and James Goodale, former Vice President of the New York Times.

“If Julian Assange–the first journalist to be indicted in the US for doing journalism–is extradited and prosecuted, the First Amendment will be in a terminal state as protection for investigative reporting on “national security,” said Dan Ellsberg.

The attempt to extradite Julian Assange to the United States for prosecution is a war against freedom of the press and our right to know. If the prosecution of Assange under the Espionage Act occurs, it will define journalism for the 21st Century. No journalist or publisher who exposes war crimes or corruption will be safe.

“The First Amendment will be damaged if Julian Assange is extradited to the United States and convicted under the Espionage Act,” said Goodale, former Vice Chairman of the New York Times and author of “Fighting for the press: the Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles. “I do not represent Julian Assange; I represent the First Amendment.”

In a prepared statement, Hedges also weighed in.

“If Julian Assange is extradited, tried and sentenced in the United States, it will mean the end of journalistic investigations into the inner workings of power,” said Hedges. “It will cement into place a terrifying global, corporate tyranny under which borders, nationality, and law mean nothing.”

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