New Senate Bill Targets WikiLeaks, Russia, Independent Press and First Amendment

by Whitney Webb, The Anti Media:

With the Russian meddling narrative serving as pretext, the U.S. Senate, embracing the “Pompeo Doctrine,” is moving to stifle and criminalize WikiLeaks and, by extension, any such “dangerous,” transparency-providing entities that threaten to cast doubt upon Washington’s “official stories.”

(MPN) — The Senate Intelligence Committee is pushing Congress to label WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” having adopted that very position in the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) it approved last month. The terminology used in the bill originates from a speech given in April by CIA director Mike Pompeo, who called the pro-transparency media organization a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted” by “hostile” nations.

WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, has slammed the Senate bill as an attempt to legislate what he termed the “Pompeo doctrine.”

WikiLeaks has been under U.S. investigation since 2010 but the U.S. has failed to formally charge anyone in the organization for its role in leaking State and Defense Department documents.

However, WikiLeaks’ source in this case, Chelsea Manning, was convicted in 2013 and was only recently released from prison after receiving a pardon from President Barack Obama in January of this year. WikiLeaks came under scrutiny once again last year during the presidential election after publishing emails considered damaging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The IAA’s 12,000-word text, however, makes only brief mention of WikiLeaks — in the last line of its 41 pages. The bill itself is mainly focused on Russia and strikes an aggressive tone regarding so-called Russian “interference” in the 2016 presidential election as well as Russian “influence operations.” If passed, for instance, the bill will call upon Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, to develop strategies to counter these “threats,” and will essentially prevent cooperation between Russia and the U.S. on issues such as “cybersecurity” and “cyber threats.”

Mieke Eoyang, a former House intelligence committee senior staffer, told the Daily Beastthat such measures will prevent “the White House from blocking the intelligence community from telling the committee and the American public what the true Russia threat is.”

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