Assange wants support for NSA whistleblower as WikiLeaks offers $10k reward to ‘expose’ reporter
The FBI arrested Reality Leigh Winner, 25, at her home in Georgia on Saturday, and charged her with “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet,” according to a statement from the US Department of Justice.
Assange took to Twitter Tuesday to encourage public support for Winner who, he says, is a “young woman accused of courage in trying to help us know.”
Alleged NSA whistleblower Reality Leigh Winner must be supported. She is a young women accused of courage in trying to help us know. pic.twitter.com/B4aIdt7qz6— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) June 6, 2017
In a separate tweet Assange supposedly responded to critics of Winner, saying “it doesn’t matter why she did it or the quality [of] the report. Acts of non-elite sources communicating knowledge should be strongly encouraged.”
It doesn't matter why she did it or the quality the report. Acts of non-elite sources communicating knowledge should be strongly encouraged.— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) June 6, 2017
Assange went on to denounce the suspected Intercept reporter who allegedly shared the documents, and Winner’s postcode, with US officials.
WikiLeaks went one step further, offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the “public exposure and termination,” of the reporter.
WikiLeaks issues a US$10,000 reward for information leading to the public exposure & termination of this 'reporter': https://t.co/W9wijCk5d3— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 6, 2017
The secret report, published by The Intercept Monday, alleges that Russian Military Intelligence launched a cyber attack on a voting machine software company, and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials, just days before the 2016 US presidential election.
Reality Winner, arrested for alleged classified leak, is a former US Air Force linguist who speaks Pashto, Farsi & Dari, her mother tells me pic.twitter.com/SQjt13wRw6— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) June 5, 2017
The leak “threatens national security” and “undermines public faith in government,” according to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.
If convicted, Winner faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.