The US government on Thursday unsealed the charge sheet against Australian Julian Assange as the Wikileaks founder was being arrested by U.K. authorities. The indictment, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia in March 2018 states that he and Chelsea Manning worked together in 2010 to crack passwords on government computers. Below is an excerpt from the opening paragraphs.
THE GRAND JURY CHARGES THAT:
At times material to this Indictment:
- Chelsea Manning formerly known as Bradley Manning was an intelligence analyst in the United States Amy, who was deployed to Operation Base Hammer in Iraq.
- Manning held a “Top Secret” security clearance, and signed a classified information nondisclosure agreement, acknowledging that the unauthorized disclosure or retention of negligent handling of classified information could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to the advantage of a foreign nation.
- Executive Order No. 13526 and its predecessor orders define the classification levels assigned to classified information. Under the Executive Order, information may be classified as “Secret” if its unauthorized disclosure reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security. Further, under the Executive Order, classified information can generally only be disclosed to those person who have been granted an appropriate level of United States government security clearance and possess a need to know the classified information in connection to their official duties.
- Julian Paul Assange was the founder and leader of the WikiLeaks website. The WikiLeaks website publicly solicited submissions of classified, censored, and other restricted information.
- Assange, who did not possess a security clearance or need to know, was not authorized to receive classified information of the United States.
Read the rest of the indictment here.