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Prominent Americans Oppose Prosecution and Extradition of Assange

Posted By Eric Garris On December 15, 2010 @ 7:20 am In News | Comments Disabled

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.

Among the prominent signers are:

John Perry Barlow, Electronic Freedom Foundation
Medea Benjamin, CODE PINK
William Blum, the Empire Report
Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America
Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, No FEAR Coalition
Daniel Ellsberg, 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.

Contact information for some signers that represent the some of the different types of people signing on is available below the Statement from WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org [1].

Statement From WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org [1]

“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.”

Suggested Contacts

The letter is being signed from people with different backgrounds and experience. You are welcome to contact any of them. To represent this breadth of view we recommend contacting the following people:

1. John Perry Barlow is a leader in the electronic freedom movement and is a co-founder of the Electronic Freedom Foundation. He has written for a diversity of publications, including Communications of the ACM [2], Mondo 2000, The New York Times, and Time. He has been on the masthead of Wired [3] magazine since it was founded. He is a former Wyoming rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist. His piece on the future of copyright, “The Economy of Ideas,” is taught in many law schools, and his “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” is posted on thousands of websites. He can be reached at barlow@eff.org [4]. His phone nubers are 1-917-863-2037, 1800-654-4322 (both go to his mobile) or his landline 1-415-888-2241.

2. Daniel Ellsberg is a former U.S. military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon analysis of the Vietnam War tothe New York Times. He can be reached at ellsbergd1@gmail.com [5]

3. Noted author Naomi Wolf’s recent article on the US Espionage Act and WikiLeaks is linked here. She is an author and political consultant. She is a leading spokesperson for the third-wave of the feminist movement and an advocate for progressive causes most recently arguing that there has been a deterioration of democratic institutions in the United States. Naomi Wolf can be contacted at naomirwolf@aol.com [6] or 1-646-334-1290.

4. Kevin Zeese is the executive director of Voters For Peace, is an attorney and noted political activist who works on a wide range of issues including war, torture accountability, economic justice and corporate influence on American democracy (see also www.ProsperityAgenda.US [7]). Zeese served as Ralph Nader’s press secretary and spokesperson in 2004. He is widely quoted in the media. His most recent article on WikiLeaks, is Assange in the Grasp of U.S. Empire [8]. Zeese can be reached at KBZeese@gmail.com [9]. He can be reached by phone at 1-301-996-6582 (cell) or 1-443-708-8360 (office).

Linda Schade is the initiator of WikiLeaksisDemocracy.org [10] which is an initiative of VotersForPeace.US. She served as the founding Executive Director of VotersForPeace [11], and most recently as the Director of Program Development at the Center for Climate Strategies. Ms. Schade is a 20-year political veteran featured on CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, Pacifica radio, and other media outlets on her peace, justice and democracy work.

For Further Information:
Linda Schade 202-422-5780
Kevin Zeese 301-996-6582

Article printed from Antiwar.com Blog: http://antiwar.com/blog

URL to article: http://antiwar.com/blog/2010/12/15/prominent-americans-oppose-prosecution-and-extradition-of-assange/

URLs in this post:

[1] WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org: http://www.wikileaksisdemocracy.org/

[2] Communications of the ACM: http://www.acm.org/cacm/

[3] Wired: http://www.wired.com/

[4] barlow@eff.org: mailto:barlow@eff.org

[5] ellsbergd1@gmail.com: mailto:ellsbergd1@gmail.com

[6] naomirwolf@aol.com: mailto:naomirwolf@aol.com

[7] www.ProsperityAgenda.US: http://www.ProsperityAgenda.US

[8] Assange in the Grasp of U.S. Empire: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-zeese/assange-in-the-grasp-of-u_b_794491.html

[9] KBZeese@gmail.com: mailto:KBZeese@gmail.com

[10] WikiLeaksisDemocracy.org: http://wikileaksisdemocracy.org/

[11] VotersForPeace: http://www.votersforpeace.us/

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