The U.S. government will be arguing in a London court for the United Kingdom to extradite WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange to the United States to stand trial.
Click here to urge the UK not to extradite Assange, but to free him.
Renowned Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told The Real News Network this week: “This is the first indictment of a journalist and editor or publisher. . . . And if it’s successful it will not be the last. This is clearly a part of President Trump’s war on the press, what he calls the enemy of the state.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation added: “Several parts of the indictment describe very common journalistic behavior, like using cloud storage or knowingly receiving classified information or redacting identifying information about a source.”
The Freedom of the Press Foundation agrees: “For years, the Obama administration considered indicting WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, before rightly concluding it could not do so without encroaching on core press freedoms. Now almost nine years in, the Trump administration has used the same information to manufacture a flimsy and pretextual indictment involving a ‘conspiracy’ to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act—based entirely on alleged conversations between a journalist and source.”
Many prominent figures in the U.S. media, cheering Assange’s arrest, display more loyalty to the U.S. government than to journalism or publishing. We have to step up in their absence and defend their institution. Click here to add your name.
Let’s not forget the public service for which Assange is being persecuted, and for which he’s spent the past several years in a single building in London. Civil rights attorney Chase Madar explained the importance of the documents that Chelsea Manning leaked and WikiLeaks published:
“Thanks to Manning’s alleged disclosures, we have a sense of what transpired in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . Thanks to those revelations we now know just how our government leaned on the Vatican to quell opposition to the Iraq War. We now know how Washington pressured the German government to block the prosecution of CIA agents who kidnapped an innocent man, Khaled El-Masri, while he was on vacation. We know how our State Department lobbied hard to prevent a minimum wage increase in Haiti, the hemisphere’s poorest nation.”
That list of things we know because of Manning and Assange could be multiplied 100-fold. Both are now behind bars — Manning back in jail for contempt of court for her refusal to testify against Assange about events in 2010.
Click here to take a stand for freedom of the press and transparent government.
In a democracy, people need to know if their government is subverting democracies and committing war crimes overseas. In a democracy, our courts would be too busy prosecuting the crimes exposed by WikiLeaks to have time to turn the act of revealing them into some sort of crime.
Start turning these priorities around by clicking here.
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— The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
>> The Real News Network: “Daniel Ellsberg On Assange Arrest: The Beginning of the End For Press Freedom”
>> Electronic Frontier Foundation: “Statement on Assange Indictment and Arrest”
>> Freedom of the Press Foundation: “The Trump administration’s indictment of Julian Assange threatens core press freedom rights”
>> David Swanson: “What Bradley Manning Means to Us”
>> Juan Cole: “Top 10 Ways Bradley Manning Changed the World”