Dear Democracy Leader:
I am writing to you as a fellow American who is concerned about the state of democracy in the United States.
You have been active on the issue of electronic voting and election integrity, and I believe that the WikiLeaks phenomena is a significant advance FOR democracy.
The world is being rocked by the slow dripping of documents released by WikiLeaks showing that a small non-profit media organization and a few honest whistleblowers – perhaps 22 year old Maryland solider Bradley Manning – can bring a superpower to its knees.
In fact, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange have thrown themselves into the gears of the Empire on behalf of us all.
In response, the US government is fighting back by bringing its full force to bear.
We must stand up in their defense, and for a culture of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We offer this petition in defense of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks atWikiLeaksisDemocracy.org. Numerous prominent figures have stepped forward and signed on such as Daniel Ellsberg, Naomi Wolf, Noam Chomsky, Ret. Colonel Anne Wright, Juston Raimondo, Cindy Sheehan, and Tariq Ali.
If we let them criminalize an innocent man in the person of Assange, who will stand when they come for us?
If we let them silence Assange, we are all silenced.
Here’s the text of the petition.
“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.”
Please consider signing the petition and forwarding it widely. We plan to organize some prominent signers to make a joint statement to the press soon to amplify the power of this effort. More steps will follow.
Thanks for your leadership,