In 2006, Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks, an outlet dedicated to publishing classified reports of government wrongdoing, and was almost immediately labelled a traitor and dangerous criminal who ought to be behind bars. To this day, WikiLeaks remains of the most fearless and unbiased sources for the ugly facts about what government does when no one is watching.
The news that Julian Assange will be extradited to the United States to face criminal espionage charges should concern anyone who values transparency and freedom of information. The measure of a free society is not the treatment of those serving the ruling class, but the treatment of those who subvert it—those who live and speak outside of permissible lines. While the U.S. government decries human right violations and persecution of journalists in places like Russia, Iran, and China, it participates in the exact same violations here at home in the name of national security. Make no mistake, it is not just Assange or WikiLeaks that is under attack here, but a free press and independent journalism itself.