As Julian Assange faces a revised indictment, much ado is made in the media about an assault on the 1st Amendment. Let me be clear here, I think that Julian Assange is filth. Nothing he has done has accomplished anything he purported to be his aims. No hinted promise he has ever made as to something big happening has ever come to pass. He took advantage of his Ecuadorian hosts and repaid their kindness with disdain. That said, is the impending prosecution of Mr. Assange really an assault on the 1st Amendment?
In 1917, the United States had declared war on Imperial Germany. The nation was gripped in a patriotic fervor in which the Wilson Administration did not ask for citizen support, it commanded it. Congress passed two laws which made it a crime in the United States, punishable with imprisonment, to make a comment or display an attitude that was “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language against the Constitution, the flag, the Armed Forces, and American institutions.”
Now, had Mr. Assange committed is actions in 1917 you can see where things could have been a bit of a sticky wicket for him. But for Robert Goldstein, who was at least honest about his intentions, it was a nightmare from which he never recovered…