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Thursday
Dec162010

Ralph Nader: Julian Assange Prosecution a 'Distraction' from Executive Branch Secrecy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ralph Nader, a leading consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, delivered a spirited public defense of WikiLeaks Thursday and called the prosecution of Julian Assange a “distraction” from a more disconcerting issue: the Obama and Bush administrations’ fixation with secrecy.

“If you take all of the present and probably future disclosures under the WikiLeaks initiative, the vast majority should never have been classified,” Nader told a House Judiciary Committee hearing on legal and constitutional issues surrounding WikiLeaks’ publication of secret government documents.

“The vast majority are reprehensible use of people employing taxpayer dollars, the vast majority should have been disclosed, if not, never stated for the benefit of the American people to hold their government accountable,” he said.

Nader praised WikiLeaks as a "whistleblower" and called the administration’s pending legal case against Assange a “very dangerous” diversion from what he views as encroachment of the executive branch on freedom of speech and the public’s right to know.

Attorney General Eric Holder has said WikiLeaks’ actions have put the lives of Americans at risk and that the Justice Department will prosecute those involved with the leak and worldwide dissemination of the materials.

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