Why did Julian Assange get into so much trouble because of WikiLeaks?

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After a 14-year legal battle, Julian Assange, the creator of the whistleblower media organization WikiLeaks, is expected to reach a plea agreement this week that would release him from prison and enable him to return to Australia.

According to its website, WikiLeaks is an international media outlet with a focus on deciphering and disseminating databases containing banned or restricted content related to espionage, corruption, and conflict.

Assange launched it in 2006, and among its co-publishers, research partners, and funders are a number of worldwide media companies. Additionally, it states that donations from the general public support this non-profit organization.
In a 2015 interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Julian Assange described WikiLeaks as "a giant library of the world's most persecuted documents." "We grant asylum to these documents, examine them, advocate for them, and acquire additional ones."

The most contentious releases from WikiLeaks included videos and classified US military records from the conflict the US fought in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early to mid-2000s. The releases claimed to have exposed human rights abuses, abuses of detainees in US custody, and murders of civilians.

According to US officials, the leaks were careless, compromised national security, and put the lives of the operatives in jeopardy. Many of Assange's fans claimed that the website protected free speech and that any legal action against him was an attack on the press.
A video of a 2007 US helicopter raid in Baghdad that claimed the lives of twelve individuals, including two Reuters news team members, was made public by WikiLeaks in April 2010. A US Army intelligence analyst was detained in June after disclosing the sensitive footage. Chelsea Manning, the analyst, was sentenced to seven years in military prison before former President Barack Obama pardoned her in 2018.

After three months, almost 91,000 documents were made public by WikiLeaks, the majority of which were classified US military files regarding the war in Afghanistan. The publication of almost 400,000 classified US military documents detailing the Iraq war from 2004 to 2009 came next in October.

In the history of the US military, these leaks were the biggest of their type.

Later that year, thousands of US diplomatic cables—which included frank assessments of security dangers and forthright opinions of foreign leaders—were made public by WikiLeaks. These included emails alleging China orchestrating cyberattacks against the United States and another from Abdullah, the former monarch of Saudi Arabia, pleading with the US to attack Iran's nuclear program.

As a result of an investigation into claims of rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion, Assange was battling against a Swedish court's order to be detained in the interim. He was detained in Britain in December 2010 pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant. From the beginning, Assange refuted the accusations and stated that they were a ruse to extradite him to the US to stand trial for the WikiLeaks revelations.

From its collection of more than 250,000 State Department reports, WikiLeaks revealed thousands of US diplomatic cables that had never been published before in 2011.
A loose coalition of WikiLeaks supporters began attacking groups perceived as antagonistic to the website online, and following Assange's 2010 arrest, they began disseminating the stolen data around the internet.

Following their decision to cease accepting donations to WikiLeaks, a second group of online activists going by the moniker "Anonymous" briefly knocked down the websites of MasterCard and Visa, two of the biggest credit card companies.

As of right now, the website claims to take bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as donations.

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