“It’s great to smell the fresh air of London again” announced infamous WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he was released on bail this evening in London. While Assange enjoys his limited freedom until his hearing—he’ll be under “mansion arrest” as well as wearing a tracking bracelet—a host of other issues regarding his continuous dump of classified documents on the Internet awaits him.
First and foremost of these issues is what action (if any) the U.S. intends to take against Assange for the disclosure of classified U.S. national security information. This afternoon, The Heritage Foundation hosted a public event where Senior Legal Fellow Cully Stimson addressed the issues surrounding a possible prosecution of Assange.
While it is easy to prosecute Private Bradley Manning, the soldier who allegedly provided Assange with confidential documents in July, dealing with Assange is more tricky. Manning took an oath that he would not transfer any classified information for which he is not authorized; Assange is free from such commitments. Stimson assessed that the prosecution of Assange presents a more difficult questions and can be assessed only after a thorough investigation.