On Tuesday, WikiLeaks posted a tweet announcing the U.S. government had ended its eight-year-long grand jury proceedings against WikiLeaks that was expanded in 2017 to cover the WikiLeaks various “Vault” releases on CIA spy technology.The WikiLeaks tweet referenced a State Department press conference held that day, Jan. 2, 2018, in which State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert made a strong statement regarding freedom of speech that was couched in a reference to Iran.
The WikiLeaks tweet confirmed the State Department’s reference to freedom of speech in Iran was a coded communication intended to extend the umbrella of free speech and press rights to WikiLeaks in a clear reversal of the policy in which both CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Sessions have argued that arresting Julian Assange is a priority. It is not clear that Assange has violated national security laws, even if it can be shown he published U.S. national security classified documents.Specifically, Nauert said the following:
“We support a freedom of the press here in the United States. We support the right of voices to be heard. And when a nation clamps down on social media or websites or Google or news sites, we ask the question, “What are you afraid of?” What are you afraid of? We support the Iranian people and we support their voices being heard.” Trump’s attorneys argue Assange’s First Amendment right to publish
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