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Is Obama following in Nixon's footsteps by going after WikiLeaks?

Julian Assange faces a US grand jury investigation for his releases of information through WikiLeaks. Are there parallels between RIchard Nixon's legal action against The New York Times for publishing the Pentagon Papers?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds up his Sydney Peace Prize for "exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights" in London May 10, 2011.

Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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By James C. Goodale


Just in time to spoil the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the Obama Justice Department is trying to do what Richard Nixon couldn't: indict a media organization.

A grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is under way in Alexandria, Virginia. The Justice Department has already subpoenaed the electronic records of many former WikiLeaks volunteers and at least three people have now been subpoenaed to testify in a case that could potentially criminalize forms of investigative journalism.


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