Green Party: Attacks on Wikileaks threaten freedom of the press, enable government officials to commit crimes with impunity

Thank you to my co-blogger at onthewilderside for the story:

From a Green Party press release:

Logo used by Wikileaks

Image via Wikipedia

Green Party leaders called the attacks on Wikileaks by the US government a direct and deliberate assault on the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

“The war on Wikileaks may set a precedent for the treatment of journalists who expose government wrong-doing,” said Carl Romanelli of the Pennsylvania Green Party. “While the US government has increasingly operated outside of US constitutional and international law, Wikileaks’ actions would not be called a crime in a free and open society.”

Greens expressed dismay and outrage over the decision of companies like Amazon, Pay Pal, MasterCard, and Visa, as well as several Internet hosting companies, to cooperate with US government demands for censorship.

Greens listed several reasons to defend Wikileaks:

  • There is no proof that Wikileaks has broken the law, and no criminal charges have been filed.
  • Reporters and media organizations like Wikileaks that expose ‘top secret’ documents showing evidence of criminality deserve praise and support, not condemnation. The Wikileaks cables revealed secret US military operations in Yemen that killed dozens of Yemenis (previously denied by Obama officials), orders from the US State Department for personnel to steal personal information from UN officials and human rights groups, manipulation of Britain’s Iraq inquiry to protect US interests, pressure from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for the US to launch an attack on Iran, and many other examples of information that the American public and the world deserve to know.
  • Despite warnings that Wikileaks has endangered military personnel and individuals in Afghanistan working with the US, publication of the cables has resulted in no known deaths. On the other hand, US operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen have caused the deaths of countless civilians.
  • The demand by politicians in the US and abroad for Julian Assange to be hunted down and executed, without due process, demonstrates why media organizations like Wikileaks are vitally necessary. The Bush Administration authorized prolonged detention without due process, denial of habeas corpus, extraordinary rendition and torture, warrantless surveillance of US citizens, harassment of whistleblowers, and false justifications for war. The Obama White House has maintained most of these policies and refuses to prosecute Bush officials who approved torture, including President Bush himself. The Green Party supports the rule of constitutional law — as should every American — and therefore welcomes the Wikileaks revelations detailing official abuses of power.
  • The calls for legal action against Wikileaks, a small media organization, are cowardly and hypocritical, since no such calls have been made for legal action against The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and other major corporate media that have published the cables. Furthermore, the published cables were redacted by Wikileaks to to protect innocent individuals.
  • In the context of recent attempts in Congress to undermine net neutrality and impose corporate and/or government control in the US over access to the Internet, the attempts to block public access to the Wikipedia logs represents a dangerous step towards censorship.

MORE INFORMATION

“Don’t shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths” By Julian Assange, The Australian, December 8, 2010 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/wikileaks/dont-shoot-messenger-for-revealing-uncomfortable-truths/story-fn775xjq-1225967241332
“Assange’s rights should be upheld: Brown” Quotes from Australian Senator and Greens leader Bob Brown, The Greens, December 6, 2010 http://greens.org.au/content/assanges-rights-should-be-upheld-brown

Glenn Greenwald’s coverage of Wikileaks and the media response in Salon.com http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

22 thoughts on “Green Party: Attacks on Wikileaks threaten freedom of the press, enable government officials to commit crimes with impunity

  1. Best We Can Do? [Lake]

    RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press, 45 minutes ago

    LONDON – Skirmishes raged across in cyberspace Thursday between WikiLeaks supporters and the companies they accuse of trying to stifle the group, with websites on both sides of the battle line choked off by attacks.

    A protest in Australia — the first of a series planned there and in Britain — sent about 250 demonstrators into the streets of Brisbane.

    “Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a worldwide campaign against WikiLeaks and its project to create more transparency within government,” rally organizer Jessica Payne said.

    “We’re here today to defend WikiLeaks and defend our right to freedom of information.”

  2. Gains

    “And where is the Libertarian Party on all this?”

    If there is good reason for acerbic resolutions, wouldn’t wholesale flagrant violations of the 1st amendment by government be one of them? Is fighting for freedom too much work compared to a game of last man standing?

  3. Paulie

    Right on, Green Party! I hope all alt parties join in supporting wikileaks, just as many have spoken up to oppose the TSA.

  4. Best We Can Do? [Lake]

    The Greatest American Patriot
    Jeremy Young | November 30, 2010 at 9:54 PM | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/ppl47-1j

    Just wanted to point out that I can’t remember the last time the greatest American patriot was neither American nor great. In fact, he may be a rapist.

    Hey, I didn’t say Julian Assange was a great guy. He’s not. He’s a terrible guy. He’s also the greatest American patriot of the national security state era —

    the one man who may be able to roll back the apparatus of secrecy that has taken this country off course from its founding principles.

    Assange is a hero, make no mistake about it. It’ll be worth remembering that when he’s inevitably thrown in jail.

    Add a comment to this post

  5. paulie

    http://peaceandfreedom.org/home/

    The Wikileaks Documents

    December 6, 2010

    We expect that Wikileaks will continue to come under attack. Therefore we are joining many other organizations that are using their websites to help insure that these documents are continuously available.

    In the event that the address wikileaks.ch stops working, try wikileaks.peaceandfreedom.org. If that doesn’t work either, then click here for a frequently-updated list of mirror sites (full copies) of the Wikileaks website and CableGate pages.

    http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/index.php?view=article&id=819

  6. Carey Campbell

    Interesting post. Impressive agreement here.

    Thanks to the Green Party uncovering corruption in Germany….Berlin investigating controversial NGO.

    UPI quotes Green Party member of parliament/Bundestag Ute Koczy, “….There are clear signals that the government is concerned,” Ute Koczy, the development policy spokeswoman of the Green Party

    Here’s my interview with her at the Green Party convention in Freiburg two weeks ago…
    http://www.youtube.com/user/IndependentGreens?feature=mhum#g/u

    and the story
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/12/08/Berlin-investigating-controversial-NGO/UPI-65781291829016/

  7. Carey Campbell

    Just watched Ron Paul’s remarks.

    The good gentleman’s courage is to be applauded.

    I thank Ron Paul for them. Notice he cites and praises Senator Mike Gravel.

    For all those freezing days and nights gathering thousands of signatures the Independent Greens of Virginia spent to put Ron Paul on the ballot as our VP candidate in 2008 …every second was well invested.

    Thank you Mr. Congressman.

  8. Ross Levin

    If anyone’s interested in organizing protests around Swedish consulates in support of Assange let me know (there are consulates in every state I think so).

  9. Congrats to the Greens ... TMS

    Congratulations to the Green Party on their more-libertarian-than-the-Libertarian Party statement.

    The Green Party has stood up for libertarian principles.

    Republican Ron Paul has stood up for libertarian principles: http://libertarianpeacenik.blogspot.com/2010/12/ron-paul-cheers-wikileaks-wheres-wayne.html

    So…where is “de facto face of the Libertarian Party” Wayne Allyn Root?

    Surely Root doesn’t fear offending his prowar supporters on Fox News or in the Tea Party?

  10. Kimberly Wilder

    Dear Thomas,

    I don’t know what you do to get in the spam box. But, I have been watching it a bit lately, and a lot of your stuff goes in there.

    Just some thoughts on why that happens technically to messages:

    Do you put in extra links? Are your messages too long? Are you putting in a website/http (which you are supposed to be able to, but maybe the one you on presents a problem?)

    If you really have something to say, you could try to be short, sweet, with no direct links (put them in as text or something.)

    Just some thoughts.

    Paulie is on assignment somewhere, and not going through the spam as much as he did. And, I am doing it only occasionally.

    So, good luck. And, will try to catch the latest one.

    -Kimberly

  11. Kimberly Wilder Post author

    Thomas –

    Did not see anything in spam from you.

    Maybe it was lost in the computer ethers?

    😉
    Kimberly

  12. George Phillies

    As some of you know I teach at an engineering/science school at which there is little politics among the students. The election this past fall passed with little disturbance. However, taped to glass doors today I started seeing signs “Free Julian Assange”.

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