- World Govts; UN; Media; Human Rights
- United States of America
For the latest campaign at tomhayden.com see In Support of Asylum for Julian Assange in Ecuador | Online Petition.
We believe that WikiLeaks (founded by Julian Assange) and those whistleblowers who declassify documents in a time of secret war should be welcomed as defenders of democracy, not demonized as criminals.
We support their First Amendment rights and welcome their continued disobedience in response to a long train of official deception.
- Our government prohibited the media from photographing the returning remains of our dead soldiers, until public pressure forced a change in policy;
- The Abu Ghraib torture scandal only came to public attention when photographs were leaked by an MP;
- The war in Pakistan is shrouded in secrecy because it violates that country’s sovereignty, results in the killing of innocent civilians, and is deeply unpopular;
- According to the new information from WikiLeaks, our Special Operations Task Force 373 operates outside the ISAF mandate to kidnap and kill targeted insurgents in a repeat of the discredited Phoenix program of the Vietnam era.
- Gen. Stanley McChrystal was forced to resign after a Rolling Stone reporter uncovered attitudes hostile to civilian authority;
- The same Rolling Stone article quoted a top official saying if the truth about these wars was known by the American people, they would be even more unpopular.
Given this context of cover-ups, whistleblowers have been a last resort in keeping democracy alive.
We understand the embarrassment of high officials when exposed, but it is Orwellian for the Pentagon to accuse the WikiLeaks of having “blood on their hands.” We are in the tenth year of a war which has claimed over 1,100 American lives, and where Afghan and Pakistan casualties are obscured deliberately. Many of America’s killed and wounded are listed as non-combat, minimizing the actual toll. WikiLeaks has been careful to delete information which might expose individuals to lethal risk. Those who really have blood on their hands are the authors of this war. We stand with those who expose them.
REV. GEORGE HUNSINGER, Princeton Theology Seminary
ED BACON, All Saints Episcopal
MEDEA BENJAMIN, Cofounder, CODEPINK
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America
REV. JIM CONN
ARIEL DORFMAN, Author
PETER DALE SCOTT, Author
DONALD SHRIVER, President of Union Theological Seminary in NYC [ret.]
PEGGY SHRIVER, Assistant General Secretary, National Council of Churches [ret.]
GAR SMITH, Co-Founder, Environmentalists Against War
JEAN STEIN, Editor/Author