Assange Warns US Media of Government Censorship Attempts

Other Journalists 'Going to Be Next," Assange Fears

by Jason Ditz, December 22, 2010

Speaking today on MSNBC in an interview with Cenk Uyguy, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange expressed serious concerns about the Obama Administration’s interests in censoring his website’s publications, warning that the erosion of the First Amendment isn’t going to stop with him.

Speaking of the “quite deliberate attempts to split off our organization from the First Amendment protections that are afforded to all publishers,” Assange cautioned that other journalists should be worried because “they’re going to be next.”

The State Department insisted last week that Assange wasn’t a journalist because he “has an agenda,” though of course the First Amendment guarantees of Freedom of the Press do not include any restrictions to a specific class, nor does US law provide any system to officially license approved journalists.

Assange also condemned the repeated calls by US politicians to assassinate him, insisting that they raised serious questions about the United States as a country dedicated to the rule of law.

Assange also rejected the notion that he was guilty of ‘conspiring” with Bradley Manning, insisting that “isn’t how our technology works” and that he had never even heard of Bradley Manning until he was arrested and had literally no idea who provided WikiLeaks with the leaked classified data.

He did say, however, that most other media outlets covering classified stories do have to deal directly with their sources, and if the publication of the documents was grounds for a conspiracy charge it could be the basis for mass censorship of US media.

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