In the latest episode of “On Contact,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges examines the trial of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange and the dangers it poses to our civil liberties. While Assange has been indicted on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, guest Joe Lauria of Consortium News argues that he’s really being prosecuted for sedition. “He’s not stealing documents to give to an enemy government for money, unless the public is the enemy,” he says. “They’re going after a guy who was threatening their interests.

At the beginning of the segment, Hedges points out that much of the evidence in the case was accumulated by Undercover Global — a private security firm under investigation in Spain for providing the CIA with audio and visual recordings of Assange with his lawyers and others during his stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. “All of the surveillance material is in the hands of U.S. prosecutors in London currently attempting to extradite Assange to the United States, mocking the very concept of the rule of law. The prosecution and British judge have tried and condemned Assange in advance — a process no different from what we do in Guantanamo Bay or what Joseph Stalin did in the Lubyanka.”

Watch the interview in its entirety above.

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