Assange wants support for NSA whistleblower as WikiLeaks offers $10k reward to ‘expose’ reporter
WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange is calling for the woman who allegedly leaked top secret NSA documents to The Intercept to be “supported” and the reporter who gave her information to US officials to be “named and shamed.”
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.