The First Amendment Under Attack: Free Speech and Journalism Are in Peril

The First Amendment Under Attack: Free Speech and Journalism Are in Peril

Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t ruling out the possibility that cracking down on WikiLeaks could lead to other media outlets being prosecuted for covering leaks. During a Friday morning CNN appearance, Sessions was asked by anchor Kate Bolduan whether “folks should be concerned that this would also open up news organizations like CNN and the New York Times to prosecution.” Sessions wouldn’t rule anything out.

Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” In Pompeo’s worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a “priority.”News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

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