American ‘Law’

If Julian Assange is classed as a journalist – that is someone who distributes information obtained from someone else – he apparently could be rescued from death or imprisonment in America, once they have him on their soil, by the Supreme Court ruling on freedom of the press under the First Amendment. So those out to get him are going out of their way to classify him under the alleged alternative, espionage.

Philip Crowley, State Department representative, asserts their position. Firstly, WikiLeaks “isn’t a media organisation” then secondly, “Assange obviously has a particular political objective behind his activities and that, among other things, disqualifies him as being considered a journalist”.

So we are presented with a remarkable classification: the ‘apolitical journalist’. Amazing. Have you met such an animal. Rupert Murdoch’s journos for Sky News. Certain Sydney radio talk-back innocents.

With integrity like that of the Philip Crowleys of the American Administration scene we may better understand why Washington classifies so much of its work as ‘secret’.

“According to The Washington Post, the number of documents classified as secret in the US has rocketed since 1966 (5.6 million), reaching 54.6million by 2009.” [Le Monde Diplomatique, January 2011].

The question of ‘secrecy’ is closely related to the issue of lies, deceits, fabrications – and their cover-up.