- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 11, 2019

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who had his own legal troubles for leaking classified information, called WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest Thursday “a dark moment for press freedom.”

“Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of—like it or not—award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books,” Mr. Snowden said on Twitter Thursday morning. “Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.”

Mr. Assange was arrested in London at a request from U.S. authorities. He was living the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012.

Mr. Snowden also retweeted a message from former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who called current leader Lenin Moreno, “The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history” for inviting London police into the embassy.

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department, which is seeking extradition of Mr. Assange, charged him with computer hacking for his role in releasing classified government information obtained from former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Mr. Snowden predicted the charge wouldn’t stick.

“The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking. The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: It is the count Obama’s DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.”

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