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Letter of support for WikiLeak’s founder Julian Assange

December 8, 2010

(This letter is re-posted from ZNet.)

While only a tiny fraction of the U.S. diplomatic cables scheduled for publication by Wikileaks have thus far been made available, some conclusions can already be drawn. These cables and the Iraq and Afghan War Diaries provide an opportunity for Americans to see our government for what it is.

Our government is seen here as controlling a global military and espionage empire that impacts every region of the globe and deceives its own population. Secrecy, spying, and hostility have infected our entire government, turning the diplomatic corps into an arm of the CIA and the military, just as the civilian efforts in Afghanistan are described by Richard Holbrooke, who heads them up, as “support for the military.” Secret war planning, secret wars, and lies about wars have become routine. The United States is secretly and illegally engaged in a war in Yemen and has persuaded that nation’s government to lie about it. The United States has supported a coup in Honduras and lied about it.

We have long known that the war on terrorism was increasing, rather than diminishing, terrorism. These leaks show Saudi Arabia to be the greatest sponsor of terrorism, and show that nation’s dictator, King Abdullah, to be very close to our own government in its treatment of prisoners. He has urged the United States to implant microchips in prisoners released from Guantanamo. And he has urged the United States to illegally and aggressively attack Iran. Congress should immediately block what would be the largest weapons sale in U.S. history, selling this country $60 billion in weapons. And Congress should drop any idea of “updating” the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force to permit presidents to unconstitutionally launch more wars. We see what sort of wars our allies urge on our presidents.

We learn that while dictators urge war, other branches of the same governments, the people, and the evidence weigh against it. We learn from a cable from last February that Russia has refuted U.S. claims that Iran has missiles that could target Europe. We learn from September 2009 that the United States and Britain planned to pressure Yukiya Amano, the then incoming head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to produce reports suggesting Iranian nuclear developments, whether or not merited by the facts, and that National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones proposed the propaganda strategy of baselessly tying Iran’s nuclear program to North Korea’s.

Much of the pressure for war appears to come from within the United States, whose representatives treat the entire world as a hostile enemy to be spied on, lied to, and exploited. The secrecy that permits this behavior must be broken if the United States’ approach to the world is to change. Those who have helped to fulfill President Obama’s campaign promise of transparency must be protected from his vengeance, while those who have abused positions of diplomatic trust to advance agendas of espionage and war planning must be held accountable.

While other countries may offer residency and protection to Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, it is the United States that has most benefitted from his work. We encourage U.S. cities to offer him sanctuary.

Our Department of Justice has granted immunity for aggressive war, kidnapping, torture, assassination, and warrantless spying, while pursuing the criminal prosecution of Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking materials to Wikileaks. Were our government to indict Assange or support the extradition or rendition of Assange from anywhere in the world to Sweden, while maintaining that his work and not the Pentagon’s has endangered us, our nation’s moral standing would reach a new low.

Our government should cease any actions it is taking to prosecute Julian Assange for absurd criminal charges, to pressure Sweden to do so, or to sabotage Wikileaks’ servers. Coverups of leaks have a history in Washington of backfiring in the form of larger leaks and scandals. Our State Department should focus on diplomacy and mutually beneficial partnerships with the world community.

The undersigned express our gratitude to those doing the job a representative government and an independent media are each supposed to do. We demand an end to all overt and covert wars, a ban on the use of State Department employees and contractors in spying or warfare, and a full investigation of the facts revealed in the Wikileaks cables.

We support the protest of our current wars planned for December 16th, 10 a.m., at the White House.

Signed,

Medea Benjamin

Leslie Cagan

Tim Carpenter

Gael Murphy

Cindy Sheehan

David Swanson

Debra Sweet

Ann Wright

Kevin Zeese

 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. the depress permalink
    December 9, 2010 8:21 pm

    I have no love for the U.S. government and support the release of these documents via WikiLeaks, but Julian Assange is wanted for questioning pertaining to a sexual assault allegation. I think those allegations should be taken seriously and I can’t stand the fact that all the aforementioned left/liberal folks are rushing to his defense like he is some kind of hero. Most of the signers have been out of touch and irrelevant for a long time, but this is really a new low.

    Here’s two good articles about the allegations written from a feminist perspective (with links to some other good articles):

    http://jessicavalenti.com/2010/12/07/why-naomi-wolf-really-needs-to-read-the-internet/

    http://scribe.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/assange-defenders-attack-rape-accusers-no-good-reason

    And here’s just a regular news story about the charges:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/julian-assange-denied-bail

  2. Jeff Smith permalink*
    December 10, 2010 2:32 am

    to “the depress”, thanks for the links on the feminist perspective. I had not seen those and they certainly are important in the dialogue about whether or not to defend Assange.

  3. Rod Dawson permalink
    January 5, 2011 4:14 pm

    Master card has decided to cut communications for WikiLeak

    I have just closed my Master Card in protest to their action and to support WikiLeak

    Would love it if some one younger (I’m 82) and with more technical savvy could start a
    movement to cancel Master Card accounts, Hit ’em in the pocket book is good. One solitary
    account will not make a difference.

    Please join me and close your Master Card account.

  4. January 5, 2011 5:48 pm

    Rod, thanks for your comments and your action. I am not aware of an organized campaign against MasterCard, although I know that hackers did go after them because of their actions against WikiLeaks. I agree that others need to take similar actions for it to make a difference.

Trackbacks

  1. Letter of support for WikiLeak’s founder Julian Assange (via Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy) « The Wobbly Goblin

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