The short answer: No.
The long answer: Some believe that WikiLeaks has violated § 793(e) of the Espionage Act, which makes it illegal to “willfully communicate” any document “relating to the national defense” which one believes could be used to “the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation.” But Trevor Timm points out:
As made clear in the Pentagon Papers case, the word “communicates” was never meant “to encompass publication” or to affect the press. Congress included the word “publish” in three other sections of the Act but intentionally left it out of 793. As the legislative history of this provision states, “Nothing in this Act shall…in any way to limit or infringe upon freedom of the press or of speech as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.”
Justice Douglas referenced the legislative history in his concurring opinion, when he wrote of Section 793, “it is apparent that Congress was capable of, and did, distinguish between publishing and communication in the various sections of the Espionage Act.”
Others believe that WikiLeaks has violated § 794(a), which makes it illegal to “communicate,” “either directly or indirectly,” any document “with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation.” But, just as with § 793(e), this section contains the word “communicate,” not “publish.” Moreover, it seems clear that WikiLeaks’ purpose in releasing these recent documents has been, not to injure the United States, but rather to make its government more just. As Julian Assange told Amy Goodman earlier in the year:
We are transparency activists who understand that transparent government tends to produce just government. And that is our sort of modus operandi behind our whole organization, is to get out suppressed information into the public, where the press and the public and our nation’s politics can work on it to produce better outcomes.
It also seems clear that WikiLeaks had no reason to believe that releasing these documents would injure the United States. Regarding this latter point, former federal prosecutor Baruch Weiss notes:
Well before publishing the cables, [Assange] wrote a letter to the U.S. government, delivered to our ambassador in London, inviting suggestions for redactions. The State Department refused. Assange then wrote another letter to State, reiterating that “WikiLeaks has absolutely no desire to put individual persons at significant risk of harm, nor do we wish to harm the national security of the United States.”
In that second letter, Assange stated that the department’s refusal to discuss redactions “leads me to conclude that the supposed risks are entirely fanciful.” He then indicated that WikiLeaks was undertaking redactions on its own.
Still others believe that WikiLeaks has violated § 794(b) and/or § 798, both of which specifically prohibit publishing certain material. But a close reading of these sections reveals that they only prohibit publishing very specific information. Section 794(b) prohibits publishing information regarding “the movement, numbers, description, condition, or disposition of any of the Armed Forces…or with respect to the plans or conduct…of any naval or military operations.” In other words, as Timm writes, § 794b emphasizes future operations, whereas the WikiLeaks documents deal with the past. And § 798 prohibits publishing information relating to cryptography and communication intelligence, none of which has been revealed by WikiLeaks.