Prominent Americans Oppose Prosecution and Extradition of Assange Americans Organize to Support WikiLeaks Transparency

For Immediate Release

Democracy and Transparency Advocates
Contact: 

Linda Schade 202-422-5780
Kevin Zeese 301-996-6582

Prominent Americans Oppose Prosecution and Extradition of Assange Americans Organize to Support WikiLeaks Transparency

WASHINGTON - 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, 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.

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.

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."

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
, Mondo 2000, The New York Times, and Time.
He has been on the masthead of Wired
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. 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

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 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). 
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, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-zeese/assange-in-the-grasp-of-u_b_794491.html. 

Zeese can
be reached at KBZeese@gmail.com
He can be reached by phone at 1-301-996-6582 (cell) or 1-443-708-8360
(office).

Linda Schade served as the founding
Executive Director of VotersForPeace,
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.

###

WikiLeaksisDemocracy.org which is an initiative of VotersForPeace.US.

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