It looks like Obama’s Justice Department may not prosecute Julian Assange. Fact of the matter is that Assange and Wikileaks are beyond the reach of the Justice Department.
Experts on whistleblower leaks and internet security issues say the Obama administration faces a daunting and perhaps insurmountable series of legal and practical challenges if it wants to take out Wikileaks.
Because the the 1917 Espionage Act is problematic and its use failed when the government tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case, a number of politicians have decided to enact legislation criminalizing the act of whistle-blowing.
The so-called Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination (Shield) Bill was introduced by Peter King, a Republican from New York, who will become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when the new House of Representatives with a Republican majority convenes in January.
The bill is ostensibly designed to make it illegal to publish the names of military or intelligence community informants. It mirrors a previous bill introduced by in the Senate by Joe Lieberman, Scott Brown and Susan Collins. Both bills seek to criminalize ex post facto the activity of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
Hearings on the bills will not begin until a new Congress convenes in January. However, according to officials, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to begin work this Thursday on how the Espionage Act might be modified to give prosecutors the ability to go after enemies of the state who dare leak information to the American people.