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Prominent Americans Oppose Prosecution and Extradition of Assange

KevinZeese's picture


Americans Organize to Support WikiLeaks Transparency

Washington, D.C. In opposition to efforts by the U.S. Attorney General Holder to extradite Julian Assange, Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks, prominent authors, academics, lawyers, whistleblower activists concerned with eroding civil liberties, government accountability, electronic freedom, opposition to war, and protection of whistleblowers have signed on to a strongly worded statement (below) condemning 'U.S efforts to fraudulently criminalize the legitimate journalism of Julian Assange...".

“This statement is the first step in an ongoing campaign to support Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and to re-assert the concept that the U.S. government is accountable to its citizens,” said Linda Schade of WikiLeaksisDemocracy.org. “We will not accept the manipulation of our legal system to criminalize a journalist; a free and independent press is non-negotiable.” The project is planning an aggressive campaign to support Assange and WikiLeaks and has hosted the statement online.

Sign up at www.WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org

Among the prominent signers are:

John Perry Barlow, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Medea Benjamin, CODE PINK
William Blum, the Empire Report
Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America
Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, author and political activist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, No FEAR Coalition
Daniel Ellsberg, author and former intelligence analyst who released the Pentagon Papers
Jodie Evans, CODE PINK
Margaret Flowers, MD, health care reform advocate
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Eric Garris, Antiwar.com
Mike Gogulski, Bradley Manning Support Network
Chris Hedges, Former New York Times war correspondent and author
Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist
Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights
Justin Raimondo, AntiWar.com
Coleen Rowley, whistle blower and former TIME Woman of the Year
Linda Schade, Voters for Peace, initiator WikiLeaks Is Democracy
Cindy Sheehan, Peace of the Action
Jeffrey St. Claire, Counterpunch
David Swanson, War is a Crime
Sue Udry, Defending Dissent
Harvey Wasserman, journalist, author, democracy activist
Naomi Wolf, author, democracy advocate and political activist
Colonel Ret. Ann Wright, retired military and U.S. Foreign Service
Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace
Tariq Ali, historian, writer, filmmaker, political activist and commentator.

Statement From WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org

"We, the undersigned, stand in defense of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and their actions to safeguard and advance democracy, transparency and government accountability, as protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Wikileaks performs an invaluable service to the broad U.S. and global public with a commitment to the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Government representatives have issued serious and unjustified threats against Mr. Assange and his non-profit media organization which serve only to maintain a cloak of secrecy around high crimes and violations of international law, including torture, tampering with democratically elected governments, illegal bombings and wars, surveillance, mass slaughter of innocent civilians and more.

We call on all governments, organizations, and individuals of conscience forcefully to condemn and reject all U.S. efforts to fraudulently criminalize the legitimate journalism of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and related efforts to expose an increasingly lawless U.S. government to the indispensable democratic requirement of public scrutiny. True or false, any charges which the Swedish government may pursue are irrelevant to the primacy of an independent free press.

Journalists should not be made into criminals for publishing materials critical of the government. Therefore, we reject any efforts to extradite Julian Assange to the United States or allied client states in relation to these matters. We condemn and reject every incitement to murder, incarcerate or in any way harm Mr. Assange. We encourage all those with information on corruption and violations of law to take courage from the example of Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks by acting to expose all such information into the light of public and judicial review."

Sign up at www.WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

of how Eastern Europen activists would come together after a high profile arrest.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

of how Eastern Europen activists would come together after a high profile arrest.

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

I've been looking to find something to sign to show our support.

Submitted by jawbone on

prosecutor.

Under EU treaty, if Britain grants extradition to Sweden, Sweden can only then send Assange to the US if, and only if, Britain agrees to that extradition. I wonder if there are loopholes which could be exploited.

Via Greg Mitchell's WikiLeaks Blogging, link to Think Progress piece about Tea Party Republican Rep-to-be Allen West demanding government censor all newspapers which pubished WikiLeaks' leaked cables. He would also like to see supporters censored. Dude, read the Constitution, OK? Of course, he man not need no stinking Constitution. Since they're aiding and abetting.

Glenn Greenwald has long piece, crammed with links, about dangers of Obama following in Bush/Cheney's footprints (and going beyond) on threatening press freedom.

Over and over, the Right during the Bush era argued what has now become the battle-cry of both official Washington and Democratic leaders: that leaks of classified information cannot be tolerated and must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Everywhere one goes, one hears such a mentality being advocated by Good Democrats, Progressives and Obama followers. Indeed, the only member of Congress who has thus far stood up and defended WikiLeaks and opposed prosecutions is . . . the universally disparaged GOP Rep. Ron Paul. It's just amazing how seamlessly the two parties end up mirroring each other's arguments and mindsets when in power. (My emphasis)

Some leading Democrats are going batshit crazy in their desire to be seen as tough on leaks.

Think Progress, however, says Ron Paul is not alone in the House in defending Wikileaks. Senators??

Not all members of Congress agree with West’s belief in censorship. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) has praised WikiLeaks, arguing recently that the American people have a “right to know what’s going on.” Similarly, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) have opposed efforts to criminalize WikiLeaks and other whistleblower organizations.