Horrified journalists, political analysts and press organizations are shocked by Yahoo News’ report that claimed the CIA under Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo had planned assassinating or kidnapping WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
According to the report, members of former President Trump’s administration had plotted to assassinate Assange while he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and, partnered with the UK government, were ready for a potential dangerous street conflict with Russian operatives should they attempt to take Assange out of the country.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation issued a statement following the release of the report calling the CIA a disgrace contemplating and engaging in so many illegal acts against WikiLeaks and even other award-winning journalists, and its behavior an outright scandal that should be investigated by the Congress and the DOJ.
Describing the CIA’s alleged plans as “beyond the pale”, the foundation demanded President Biden and his administration to immediately drop all charges against Assange since the case already threatens the rights of countless reporters.
Former President Barack Obama’s spokesperson Tommy Vietor, called for hearings to be held on the CIA’s alleged plot addressing the demand to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Senate Intel Committee Chairman Mark Warner.
Horrified by the details contained in the report, journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted that such behavior depicts how the real press freedom attacks look like while The Intercept’s Washington DC Bureau chief Ryan Grim, stressed that the US cannot extradite somebody it plotted to assassinate.
The report also turned the Bureau of Investigative Journalism editor James Ball into a target for discrediting for arguing that Assange would be safe and is unlikely to face prosecution in the US if he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy at the same time the CIA were discussing assassinating him.
After being forcibly removed from the embassy in 2019 by London’s Metro Police, Assange was incarcerated in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison while Biden administration is trying to extradite him on charges like the Espionage Act violation despite the fact he is an Australian citizen.