The answer is definitely, yes! Here is why…
The U.S. government is attempting to set a dangerous precedent not only against journalists but its own Constitution by stating in last Thursday’s Assange hearing. They say that Julian Assange has no rights in this case as a foreigner. The problem with this statement is very clear. The Constitution of the United States was written to protect human rights against government that seeks to harm the individual.
The Founding Fathers had just declared independence from England who ruled them with an iron fist, taking away their rights while taxing them literally to death. After winning the Revolutionary War, those who fought so valiantly for their freedom and their rights wanted to make sure it could not be taken away. So they put together a Constitution and a bill of rights to protect the people.
Mind you, when they fought for independence they were not citizens of the United States yet. They didn’t just want to protect themselves but everyone. A key part of the Declaration of Independence says the following:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Notice there is no mention of those rights are not for certain people, but all men. You cannot bring a foreign national on to American soil and prosecute him under U.S. laws and not give him certain inalienable rights.
In an article in Forbes magazine seen Here:
How does the Constitution apply to a non-citizen?
The same way it applied to enemy combatants held at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay in a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Boumediene v. Bush, which held that the basic right of habeas corpus to challenge illegal detentions extends even to non-citizens on foreign territory.
Also in an article seen here:
There is a misconception that the U.S. Constitution applies only to U.S. citizens. Some passages and phrases in our laws explicitly state only “citizens” are afforded certain rights, such as the right to vote. When the terms “resident” or “person” is used instead of citizen, the rights and privileges afforded are extended to protect citizens and non-citizens alike. Moreover, protections under the 14th Amendment ensure that no particular group is discriminated against unlawfully.
Bill of Rights
Nowhere in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution is the word “citizen.” Often it is written “The right of the people…” The Bill of Rights protects everyone, including undocumented immigrants, to exercise free speech, religion, assembly, and to be free from unlawful government interference.
The fact is, our government thinks it can decide who has rights and who doesn’t as in the case of Mr. Assange. If we allow them to do this to a foreign journalist then they can decide who else has rights including citizens of the United States. The American lawyers in the case of Julian Assange are violating our rights by choosing to ignore the Constitution. They are not the Supreme Court, they are simply lawyers. In fact, not even the State Department or the president has a right to decide who is covered under the Constitution.
Yet another article from Learn Liberty as shown here makes the following statement:
Immigration restrictionists sometimes claim that noncitizens have no rights under the Constitution, and that the US government is therefore free to deal with them in whatever way it wants. At least as a general rule, this claim is simply false.
Noncitizens undeniably have a wide range of rights under the Constitution. Indeed, within the borders of the United States, they have most of the same rights as citizens do, and longstanding Supreme Court precedent bans most state laws discriminating against noncitizens. There is little if any serious controversy among experts over this matter.
Simply put, the U.S. government and its lawyers in this case, are doing something very illegal by stating Assange has no free speech or free press rights. Will Americans allow their government to destroy a man? Will they permit such a travesty of justice to stand? Will they allow the Constitution to be ignored? Or will they fight against this precedent and stand up for their own rights in process?