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JULIAN ASSANGE: Stop Shooting The Messenger

 

THE GUARDIAN: The diplomatic standoff between Britain and Ecuador deepened on Sunday after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange used an extraordinary appearance on the first-floor balcony of Ecuador’s London embassy to berate the United States. With Metropolitan police officers watching from metres away, Assange called on President Obama to abandon what he called a “witch-hunt” against WikiLeaks. He said an alleged “FBI investigation” against his whistleblowing website should be “dissolved” and that the US should go back to its original “revolutionary” values. “As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of our societies,” Assange said, standing on a white balcony just above the pavement, and flanked by Ecuador’s yellow, blue and red flag. He added: “I ask President Obama to do the right thing: the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: The Justice Department’s subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen Monday was the latest sign of how aggressive the Obama administration is being in its campaign against government whistle-blowers. The purpose of Risen’s subpoena is to force him to testify that Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent, gave him confidential information about the CIA’s efforts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. The extent to which the administration is prosecuting leakers has troubled those who see leakers as speakers of truth to power. “In President Obama‚Äôs 26 months in office, civilian and military prosecutors have charged five people in cases involving leaking information, more than all previous presidents combined,” reports the Times. Here’s a list of prominent leakers with various agendas currently under pressure from the government. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Other government whistler-blowers prosecuted in recent years include the former National Security Agency official Tom Drake, whose prosecution was recently chronicled in The New Yorker and 60 Minutes, FBI translator Shamai Leibowitz and the yet-to-be-charged Amy intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, whose travails were recently covered on PBS’s Frontline. MORE




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