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Press Freedom Tested as Assange Prepares to be Extradited to USA

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At the center of Julian Assange’s story lies a molten, churning question for the ages:  Is Wikileaks performing a journalistic duty, or are they an espionage outfit?

Exposing government secrets as an investigative journalist has long been protected by the First Amendment, at least to the extent that these secrets don’t immediately put anyone in danger or reveal a great weakness for our enemies to exploit.

But Assange did things differently, working nearly indiscriminately to release unmatched troves of information to the general public.   For this, US authorities would like to see him prosecuted…and they appear to be getting their wish.

The U.K. has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the U.S., where he is wanted over the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified military documents and diplomatic cables.

The deportation was approved Friday by U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel following a series of failed legal battles in British courts. However, a number of appeal routes remain open to Assange, who has 14 days to challenge the decision.

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The US has been building a rather large case against him.

Assange is wanted by U.S. authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release in 2010 and 2011 of vast troves of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables, which they claim had put lives in danger.

The move has already irked freedom advocates who believe that Assange’s actions were precisely protected by the First Amendment.

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.