"Well, of course the United States government is trying to criminalize, intimidate and terrorize its critics by manufacturing bogus legal charges against them here," University of Illinois Professor of International Law Professor Francis Boyle said.
On Thursday, the US media reported citing unnamed officials the Justice Department is ready to formally file charges against Assange.
CNN claimed US authorities have found a way to prosecute Assange for a 2010 leak of confidential federal documents and a recent release of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secret files.
However, Assange and his organization had broken no law, but instead were performing a vital service in seeking to preserve the claimed openness of US democracy and transparency of government, Boyle, who has also lectured in criminal law at the University of Illinois, pointed out.
"Assange and WikiLeaks have performed a critical task and an invaluable service to the American people by exposing the nefarious machinations of the United States government and the Democratic Party, inter alia," he said.
The principle of openness to expose the secrets and wrongdoings of the government in the media was deeply established in the US legal system, Boyle pointed out.
"As Mr. Justice Louis Brandeis of the US Supreme Court once said: sunlight is the best disinfectant!" he said.
However, Attorney-General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo had made clear they were determined to crush openness of government, especially in the security and espionage agencies, Boyle observed.
"That is precisely what Attorney General Sessions and CIA Director Pompeo cannot tolerate here — to be disinfected by the sunlight of WikiLeaks," Boyle added.
"Because Assange is not a US citizen, he has even less moral obligation to refrain from publishing leaked documents than American reporters," he pointed out.
Eland recalled that there was no evidence that Assange personally broken any US agency or department security or that he had paid or suborned anyone to do so.
"If the US government can't keep its information secret and the person did not hack into its computers, but merely published received documents, they should not be prosecuted. Prosecution discourages whistleblowing and journalistic reporting of things the government is too inept to keep secret," Eland stated.
In March 2016, WikiLeaks published more than 8,700 classified CIA documents that revealed the agency's hoarding hacking technologies and listed major operating systems vulnerabilities.
The day after the release, Assange proposed assistance to technology manufacturers in sharing information to help them fix the vulnerabilities mentioned in the leak.
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