Friday, December 17, 2010

Support for WikiLeaks, Assange, Manning

Veterans for Peace
The Peace Exchange
Historians Against War
Code Pink
Demand Progress Team
Just Foreign Policy News
(These 7 statements were placed in Dick’s Blog 12-17-10)

Statement of Veterans For Peace In Support of Julian Assange and
Wikileaks and To Boycott eBay, PayPal, and Amazon Corporations:
December 9, 2010
Yesterday, the Executive Committee of Veterans For Peace voted to
break all commercial ties with the Amazon Corporation and call for our
members to boycott eBay Corp. and PayPal Corp. This includes, but is
not limited to,

• Removing the Amazon link from the VFP website. Previously we had
encouraged our members to use this link when making purchases from
Amazon Corp., as a fundraising method for our organization.

• Urging our members, supporters and the public to boycott Amazon,
eBay and PayPal corporations.

• Urging Julian Assange and the Wikileaks team to continue their
fight in the most important area of free speech: government secrets.

The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly considering charging Assange
under the Espionage Act. This much-discredited and little-used law
was last invoked against journalists, unsuccessfully, in the failed
Pentagon Papers case in 1971. However, prosecution and conviction
under this act, passed in 1917 to stifle dissent during WWI, may have
little to do with espionage and everything to do with government

For example, the federal government used the Espionage Act to
prosecute Gene Debs, the great union organizer and socialist
presidential candidate, for a 1918 Canton Ohio speech against U.S.
involvement in the “Great War.”

Another citizen prosecuted in the same period under the same law,
according to Kevin Zeese, director of Voters for Peace, was Rose
Pastor Stokes, sentenced to ten years in prison for a letter to the
Kansas City Star, saying “no government which is for the profiteers
can also be for the people, and I am for the people while the
government is for the profiteers.”

The government-war-private corporation axis is exposed fully in this
case. Credit card companies Mastercard and Visa, along with giant
online retailer Ebay Corp., owner of PayPal Corp., have voluntarily
joined Amazon Corp. in answering the government’s request to block
WikiLeaks’ funding in an effort to keep additional information from a
citizenry increasingly fed up with war, secrecy and corporate power.

VFP gave imprisoned Army PFC, Bradley Manning, its Courage of
Conscience award earlier this year for releasing documents detailing
U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Resistance to the attack on
WikiLeaks and Assange is also growing and VFP considers it important to do what we can to join that resistance.

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FAIR: We Support WikiLeaks
Stand with Daniel Ellsberg, Barbara Ehrenreich, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky and others--sign FAIR's petition in support of Wikileaks today.
December 14, 2010
As journalists, activists, artists, scholars and citizens, we condemn the array of threats and attacks on the journalist organization WikiLeaks. After the website's decision, in collaboration with several international media organizations, to publish hundreds of classified State Department diplomatic cables, many pundits, commentators and prominent U.S. politicians have called for harsh actions to be taken to shut down WikiLeaks' operations.

Major corporations like, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have acted to disrupt the group's ability to publish. U.S. legal authorities and others have repeatedly suggested, without providing any evidence, that WikiLeaks' posting of government secrets is a form of criminal behavior--or that at the very least, such activity should be made illegal. "To the extent there are gaps in our laws," Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed (11/29/10), "we will move to close those gaps."

Throughout this episode, journalists and prominent media outlets have largely refrained from defending WikiLeaks' rights to publish material of considerable news value and obvious public interest. It appears that these media organizations are hesitant to stand up for this particular media outlet's free speech rights because they find the supposed political motivations behind WikiLeaks' revelations objectionable.

But the test for one's commitment to freedom of the press is not whether one agrees with what a media outlet publishes or the manner in which it is published. WikiLeaks is certainly not beyond criticism. But the overarching consideration should be the freedom to publish in a democratic society--including the freedom to publish material that a particular government would prefer be kept secret. When government officials and media outlets declare that attacks on a particular media organization are justified, it sends an unmistakably chilling message about the rights of anyone to publish material that might rattle or offend established powers.

We hereby stand in support of the WikiLeaks media organization, and condemn the attacks on their freedom as an attack on journalistic freedoms for all.

Daniel Ellsberg
Noam Chomsky
Glenn Greenwald (Salon)
Barbara Ehrenreich
Arundhati Roy (author)
Medea Benjamin (Code Pink)
Tom Morello (musician)
John Nichols (The Nation)
Craig Brown (CommonDreams)
Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report)
DeeDee Halleck (Waves of Change, Deep Dish Network)
Norman Solomon (author, War Made Easy)
Tom Hayden
Fatima Bhutto (author)
Viggo Mortensen (actor)
Don Rojas (Free Speech TV)
Robert McChesney
Edward S. Herman (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
Sam Husseini
Jeff Cohen (Park Center for Independent Media)
Joel Bleifuss (In These Times)
Maya Schenwar (Truthout)
Greg Ruggerio (City Lights)
Thom Hartmann
Ben Ehrenreich
Robin Andersen (Fordham University)
Anthony Arnove (author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal)
Robert Naiman (Just Foreign Policy)
Dan Gillmor (Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship)
Michael Albert (Z Magazine)
Kate Murphy (The Nation)
Michelangelo Signorile (Sirius XM)
Lisa Lynch (Concordia University)
Rory O'Connor (Media Is a Plural)
Aaron Swartz
Peter Rothberg (The Nation)
Doug Henwood (Left Business Observer)
Barry Crimmins
Bill Fletcher, Jr (
Bob Harris (writer)
Jonathan Schwartz (A Tiny Revolution)
Alex Kane
Susan Ohanian
Jamie McClelland (May First/People Link)
Alfredo Lopez (May First/People Link)
Antonia Zerbisias (Toronto Star)
Mark Crispin Miller (NYU)
Jonathan Tasini
Antony Loewenstein

“WikiLeaks and the Lynch-Mob Moment” by Tom Hayden,
December 9, 2010, The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
Julian Assange is currently in UK custody in Wandsworth Prison, London.
We know that conservatives are extremists for order, but why have so many liberals lost their minds and joined the frenzy over Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? As the secrets of power are unmasked, there is a growing bipartisan demand that Julian Assange must die.
Once-liberal Democrat Bob Beckel said on FOX, "there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son-of-a-bitch." Center-liberal legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said on CNN that Assange is "absurd", "ridiculous", "delusional", and "well beyond sympathy of anyone". The Washington Times called for treating him as an "enemy combatant"; Rep. Peter King of the Homeland Security Committee who wants him prosecuted as a terrorist; and of course, Sarah Palin wants Assange "pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders", or a wolf in Alaska.
This is a lynch-mob moment, when the bloodlust runs over. We have this mad overreaction many times since the witch-burnings and Jim Crow, including the Palmer Raids of the 1920s, the McCarthy purges of the 1950s, the Nixon-era conspiracy trials, the Watergate break-ins, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11.
Most Americans now know that those frenzied periods of scapegoating did nothing for our security, which instead damaged our democracy and left in their wake a secretive National Security State.
There's wisdom in expecting calmer heads to prevail in the WikiLeaks matter, but what can be done when the calmer heads are going nuts or hiding in silence?
Do the frothing pundits remember that we have a legal system in which the accused is entitled to due process, legal representation and the right to a defense? The first obligation of our threatened elected officials, bureaucrats and pundits is to calm down.

Over the last few weeks Wikileaks has released numerous classified U.S. government cables that have revealed what U.S. diplomats are saying to each other on a range of topics, from the war in Iraq to heads of state. The documents unveil disturbing facts about these wars, including secret CIA paramilitaries, unaccountable military task forces, and the widespread killing of civilians. The release represents a contribution to the right of the public to know, both in the United States and around the world, what the U.S. government really thinks and does, as opposed to the fictions that often pass for official statements.

In response, members of the U.S. government and public, from both parties, have unleashed a firestorm of verbal abuse, physical threats, legal maneuvers, and economic pressure to try and silence Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks, and to prevent the publication of any more U.S. government documents.*

We call on all HAW members to oppose these attacks and to stand up for freedom of the press and the free distribution of information. Several petitions are circulating on the web -- for example, at (Voters for Peace) and (Credo). We ask you to sign them and to ask your friends and colleagues to do so as well.

* For recent background articles on these attacks, see, e.g.:

Glenn Greenwald, “Joe Lieberman Emulates Chinese Dictators”

Tom Hayden, “The Lynch Mob Moment”

Robert Scheer, “From Jefferson to Assange”

Editors of The Nation, “First They Came for Wikileaks Then . . .

Historians Against the War (HAW) Steering Committee (SC)
Note: You are receiving this email because you signed a Historians Against the War statement (see or asked to be including in HAW's informational mailings. If you no longer wish to receive these occasional messages about HAW's work, send an email to
haw-info mailing list

December 15, 2010
Dear Dick,
Yesterday we went to Sen. Bernie Sanders office to give him our thanks--and a big hug--for filibustering against tax cuts for millionaires. This week we'll be standing up for Wikileaks and for an end to the wars that are draining our economy.
Tomorrow, Thursday we will start the morning at the House Judiciary Hearing on Wikileaks and then march to the Justice Department to deliver this message to Attorney General Eric Holder: Don't Go After Julian Assange, Prosecute the Real Criminals--the War Criminals!
Sign here to make sure your name is on the message we hand deliver.
Thursday is also the day we'll be joining with Veterans For Peace outside the White House in a solemn act of civil disobedience against the Afghan war. We hope you can join us in DC or with a local action near you. This action coincides with the war review being released by the National Security Council. The review is already being called a "formality," since the Administration is committed to keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan until at least 2014. This goes against the will of the Afghan people, the majority of whom want the U.S. troops to leave. And it goes against the needs of the American people, who need jobs, homes and healthcare--not more war. We are proud to be standing with our vets in opposition to endless and senseless war.
In defense of truthtellers, whistleblowers and peacemakers,
Janet, Jean, Joan, Jodie, Lisa, Farida, Medea, Nancy, Rae,
Tighe and Valerie
Tweet of the Week:
Don't Go After Julian Assange, Prosecute the Real Criminals--the War Criminals!

lDemand Progress/We Support Wikileaks/Wilileaks in the News
Please sign the petitions for Bradley Manning and in support for Wikileaks. Thanks, Sue
Forgetting Bradley Manning Click here to demand an end to Private Manning's torture and call on the Army to give him a trial or set him free.
Did you hear the shocking news? Glen Greenwald reports that U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is being tortured. Manning is accused of leaking unflattering information about the Afghanistan war to WikiLeaks, but hasn't been convicted of -- or even tried for -- any crime.
Torture is outrageous and un-American! Click here to demand fair treatment of Private Manning.
Manning is being held at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, and according to Greenwald:
Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America's Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything.
Will you sign on to our petition to the Secretary of the Army?
Click here to demand an end to Private Manning's torture and call on the Army to give him a trial or set him free.!XlXlbE4NCCz5BT5CbrQ2zrG9Z9CEa4FHdhnHz-5qmDPKjQuKKBPvDjg&search=inbox&th=12cf3eb769151b5d&cvid=1
Thanks for taking a stand,
-- The Demand Progress team
Laura Flanders
Posted on December 16, 2010

JFP 12/16: Bogus Afghan "Review" Shows Need for Journalism on
Just Foreign Policy News December 16, 2010
Just Foreign Policy News on the Web:

[To receive just the Summary and a link to the web version, you can use this webform:]
Bogus Afghan "Review" Shows Need for Journalism on Classified Information
The Obama Administration "review" of Afghanistan policy claims "progress." The assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies gives a very different picture. The intelligence agencies say Pakistan remains unwilling to stop providing support and sanctuary for members of the Afghan Taliban. Many experts inside and outside the U.S. government believe Pakistan's policy will be fatal to U.S. war plans; many experts inside and outside the U.S. government think there is no reason to expect Pakistan's policy will change, because it is based on Pakistani perception of core national security interests and opposition to what the Pakistanis see as a pro-India U.S. policy in Afghanistan, which the U.S. has no current plans to change. Therefore, the clear implication of the alternative assessment is that the current U.S. war policy is doomed to costly failure.

The reason that we know about this fundamental disagreement among U.S. officials on this critical point concerning the war policy is because news outlets like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times report on classified information, and because of WikiLeaks. That's why the attacks on WikiLeaks are not only attacks on freedom of the press - as Human Rights Watch notes, #4 below, if the U.S. prosecuted Julian Assange for releasing classified State Department cables, "this would imperil media freedom everywhere" - but also attacks on the ability of the public to end the Afghanistan war and prevent new wars.

Rep. McDermott: Could WikiLeaks Have Prevented 9/11?
"… the information that's coming out is very important. I read an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, about the fact that had we had WikiLeaks in 2001, we may well not have had 9/11 occur." McDermott was referring to the op-ed by former FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
U.S./Top News
1) House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers criticized calls to prosecute WikiLeaks, Salon reports. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing this morning on WikiLeaks and the Espionage Act.

2) Julian Assange was released from jail in London on $315,000 bail, the New York Times reports. He vowed to continue to release classified documents. "I don't have too many fears about being extradited to Sweden," he said. "There are much bigger concerns about being extradited to the United States." His lawyers have suggested that the Swedish legal case is "nothing more than a holding charge" to make Assange available to the US, should prosecutors seek his indictment and extradition for the disclosure of US diplomatic and military cables.
4) The US should not prosecute Julian Assange for releasing US State Department cables as this would imperil media freedom everywhere, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to President Obama and Attorney General Holder. "This is a signature moment for freedom of expression and information in both the US and abroad," said Dinah PoKempner, general counsel at Human Rights Watch. "Prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing leaked documents would set a terrible precedent that will be eagerly grasped by other governments, particularly those with a record of trying to muzzle legitimate political reporting."

6) Police arrested more than a hundred protesters during an anti-war demonstration outside the White House, CNN reports. The event was part of a rally that also was in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. "This lynch mob mentality is America at its lowest," said Daniel Ellsberg. He said of the latest leaks, "I regard it as a very admirable act," and added he believes the person who supplied the information to WikiLeaks acted out of the same obligation "to inform the American people."

7) A New York Times report suggests federal investigators are seeking to charge Julian Assange as a co-conspirator in the leak, in order to get around the First Amendment issues and the failure to prosecute mainstream newspapers that published the cables, notes Glenn Greenwald in Salon. Greenwald notes that the distinction is absurd: mainstream journalists also encourage leaks. He also notes that government efforts to pressure Bradley Manning to implicate Julian Assange would explain - but by no means justify - the seven months of solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected.
Just Foreign Policy is a membership organization devoted to reforming US foreign policy so it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.

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