Headline RoundupJune 25th, 2024

Assange's Plea Deal: Press Freedom Victory or National Security Tragedy?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

What does WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s plea deal mean for press freedoms and national security? 

From the Right: Noah Rothman (Lean Right bias) argued the U.S. is “surrendering,” deeming it a tragedy that “Assange will not face American justice.” Arguing the leaked documents “outed the Afghans who worked directly with American servicemen, opening them up to retribution,” Rothman concluded Assange’s work was not journalistic but “akin to the conduct we would expect from a hostile intelligence network.” 

From the Center: Matt Taibbi (Center bias) concluded the terms of the plea deal “means this will remain a sword over the heads of anyone reporting on national security issues.” Taibbi argued, “Although coverage today focuses on solicitation of classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars whose publication supposedly ‘endangered lives,’ the Justice Department made it clear from the start that its fury centered on efforts to disclose governmental bad behavior.”

From the Left: A writer in The Guardian (Lean Left bias) deemed it “a day to celebrate, but also one to demand answers. Why – why, for heaven’s sake – has it taken so long?” The writer concluded, “We have not heard the last of the Julian Assange story. He must now be allowed to catch his breath, and we can celebrate that he is no longer in the dungeon. Let’s hope there are at least some politicians who will take note, and have the courage in the future to stand up to bullies rather than just mouth platitudes about free speech.”

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