As supporters of Julian Assange fear his extradition to the United States could be just weeks away, and President Biden faces growing pressure to drop espionage charges against Assange, we are joined for an exclusive joint interview with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and John Young, the founder of Cryptome.org, who have both asked the Department of Justice to indict them for possessing or publishing the same documents as the WikiLeaks founder. The Biden administration is asking the U.K. government to extradite Assange to the U.S., where he faces up to 175 years in prison on espionage and hacking charges for the release of documents that exposed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Ellsberg has revealed that he was in possession of confidential documents leaked by former military analyst Chelsea Manning and given to him as backup by WikiLeaks, and Young says he published some of the same documents days before WikiLeaks did. “If they succeed with Julian Assange, … we will not have a First Amendment,” says Ellsberg. “This accusation against Assange would be illegal against an American citizen, so we think it’s selective prosecution and it should cease,” adds Young.
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