By Maj. Danny Sjursen
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
This piece originally appeared on antiwar.com.
It’s a matter of principles over personalities. Whether one loves or hates Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange is beside the point. The First Amendment freedom of the press is at stake now. In this case, the government’s tool for oppression is the Espionage Act, an archaic relic from America’s repressive World War I-era legislation. Chelsea Manning already served seven years of a 35-year sentence, one of the longest ever meted out to a whistleblower, and was recently jailed again after she refused to testify about WikiLeaks.
That was harsh and disturbing enough for those of us who value transparency regarding our national security state. Now the Trump administration has gone a step further and threatens, for the first time ever, to imprison an actual publisher–in this case Julian Assange. Charged on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, Assange–currently jailed in Britain–faces extradition and a lengthy sentence in the United States.
I’ve been called a whistleblower, myself, for my decision to write a book and articles critical of the American warfare state and the military to which I…