The Listening Post

Julian Assange: Journalist, publisher, info warrior … spy?

The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. Plus, the erasure of Palestinian history in Israel’s archives.

On The Listening Post this week: The indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act and the threat it poses to the media. Plus, the erasure of Palestinian history in Israel’s archives.

The US indictment against Julian Assange

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London seven weeks ago, the site’s editor, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told The Listening Post that the legal charges waiting for him in the United States were “just the tip of the iceberg”.

Last week, he was proven right.

US prosecutors have expanded the indictment against Assange by another 17 counts, with the US Department of Justice now going after him using the 100-year-old Espionage Act.

The law has been used against whistleblowers before, including WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning, but never against a publisher. The precedent such a prosecution would set has been setting off alarm bells – including at mainstream media organisations – ever since.


Caroline DeCell – staff lawyer, Knight First Amendment Institute
Kevin Gosztola – managing editor, Shadowproof
Trevor Timm – executive director, Freedom of the Press Foundation
Gabe Rottman – project director, Reports Committee for Freedom of the Press

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Marcela Pizarro about the debate that turned the US-China trade war into a television spectacle – with an American news anchor in one corner and a Chinese presenter in the other.

History suppressed: Censorship in Israel’s archives

Historical documents that would shed further light on Israel‘s treatment of Palestinians have, for years, sat under lock and key inside Israel’s State and Military Archives.

Under the pretexts of “security” or “privacy”, more than 98 percent of those files are classified under a form of censorship that even the former chief archivist of Israel has criticised.

For Palestinians, it is part of wider trends of cultural erasure and historical denial that have gone hand-in-hand with the decades-long theft not just of their land, but of their story.

The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi reports on the silencing of Palestinian history in Israel’s archives.


Sherene Seikaly – associate professor, UC Santa Barbara
Rona Sela – Israeli researcher on visual history and lecturer
Mahmoud Yazbak – professor, University of Haifa