John Cusack: Yes. What is the difference between him raising money, and putting up a website, WikiLeaks, and having his own investigative reporting team gather information and aggregating content; and the Huffington Post hiring folks doing the same-- I watch her put her thing together and become the online newspaper... many of the people who were bloggers and are now journalists - great guys like Sam Stein -- and they do a great job -- now they have titles -they get accredited and go to the White House, and they are journalists, but primarily, they write online...
Jonathan Turley: Yeah, I think that's true. The distinction I think you could draw between these acts -- and I think you're absolutely right in that concern. I think that part of the distinction is if the government was arguing that Assange is an actual hacker -- if they're saying that he broke into a computer system and removed this material--
John Cusack: -they're basically saying that Assange is Anonymous.
Jonathan Turley: Right.
John Cusack: So their argument is if Assange is Anonymous; he's a cyber-terrorist?
Jonathan Turley: Right. And if he's a hacker, I think that does --
John Cusack: Does that hold up?
Jonathan Turley: Well, no -- if he's a hacker, it does put him in a different category, in the sense that he's committing a crime --
John Cusack: Is he a hacker? Do we know that?
Jonathan Turley: Well, no, we don't know that. In fact, many people insist that it's clear he's not a hacker, that he somehow got this material from a third party. But I don't know the truth either way. But I think the one distinction we can draw, and the distinction that's existed -
John Cusack: -- Like the New York Times got from Ellsberg -he was the third party
Jonathan Turley: Right.
Kevin McCabe: But I think it's important to re-frame this discussion here and look at this problem from a broader perspective than just Julian Assange. Because I am not interested in individuals.
I am interested in movements. We need a movement protecting the 1st Amendment and its broadest reach. I don't care about Assange other than he is an individual whose rights are being violated. And that means my rights are being violated. The reason we should care about what happens to Assange in the United States is because what happens to him, happens to the First Amendment."
You can read this whole post on Jonathan Turley's blog as well.