As US officials investigated whether they can charge WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange under the 1917 US Espionage Act, a voice of
remarkable experience with the controversial law spoke out in defense of
the secrets proprietor, suggesting his indictment under the act would
yet again transform "dissent into treason."
Robert Meeropol's parents were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, two
communists who became the first Americans to be executed under the
Espionage Act, amid the country's descent into McCarthyism.
Their sentences were carried out in 1953, after they were found guilty
of conspiracy to commit espionage by passing nuclear secrets to the