The Root Politics Editor Defends Julian Assange on MSNBC, Calls Arrest ‘Dangerous’
With the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuador embassy in London on Thursday, Jason Johnson, a politics editor for The Root, said that while he does not like the controversial figure, the arrest is “dangerous” for journalists.
“So this is the journalism professor hat thing. This is flimsy and I don’t like Julian Assange. A lot of us don’t like Julian Assange. We have to separate from what he seems like in his videos and his sexism and his hostility toward the United States,” Johnson began.
“At the end of the day, if this is the argument made by this particular administration that he somehow was involved in this hacking information in this very vague way. Unless we find out he directly was involved in hacking into U.S. systems, this is just an excuse to basically threaten and create sort of a chilling effect for journalists around this country and around the world,” he explained. “That’s why this is so dangerous. Look, if I have somebody whose got important information, ‘Hey, that’s good stuff, get me more information,’ that’s not necessarily a conspiracy.”
“We have to fight on behalf the journalist publishing secretive information,” Johnson added.
The Department of Justice has charged Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” for agreeing to assist former Army soldier Chelsea Manning in hacking a Department of Defense computer.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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