‘Breaking Australia’s silence: WikiLeaks and freedom’ was a public forum held on 16 March 2011 at the Sydney Town Hall. The event was staged by the Sydney Peace Foundation, Amnesty, Stop the War Coalition, and supported by the City of Sydney.
Chaired by Mary Kostakidis, it featured speeches by John Pilger, Andrew Wilkie MP (the only serving Western intelligence officer to expose the truth about the Iraq invasion) and Julian Burnside QC, defender of universal human rights under the law.
A panel of leading thinkers explore WikiLeaks and its implications for access to information, security, first amendment rights, innovation, and more. Moderated by The Real News founder Paul Jay and presented by the Churchill Club, the panel speakers are Daniel Ellsberg, Clay Shirky, Neville Roy Singham, Peter Thiel and Jonathan Zittrain.
The U.S. Justice Department is now considering charging WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange with espionage under the 1917 Espionage Act. In a recent interview, syndicated on PacificaRadio’s Flashpoints show, I spoke to Robert Meeropol, founder of the Rosenberg Fund For Children. Meeropol is the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the only U.S. citizens to be executed under the 1917 Espionage Act. In a strong defense of Wikileaks, Assange and Bradley Manning, Meeropol released a statement stating:
My parents were executed under the unconstitutional Espionage Act, here’s why we must fight to protect Julian Assange.
In the following interview he talks about the history of the 1917 espionage Act, the execution of his parents and some of the political “Echoes” from the 1950’s red scare days that are reverberating today. Meeropol also talks movingly about how his parents’ unwillingness to cave in the face of government intimidation, even at the cost of their lives.
I think that resistance is inspirational. When people resist, they inspire others and if you combined the resistance with the inspiration you end up building a movement of support.
DB: Let’s begin this way, Robert Meeropol. The U.S. Congress is back in session, the Republicans are in charge of the House, and today they read the Constitution. Would that be relevant in your defense of Julian Assange?
Update: John Pilger writes in The Independentdefending Assange against a defamatory piece published by the Guardian.
by Dennis Bernstein
An interview with John Pilger
Dennis Bernstein (DB): Let me get your overview here of Julian Assange and what is happening to him. How do you see this?
John Pilger (JP): Well, it’s a very complicated and very suspicious case, of course. Today [Thursday] we saw a pinch of justice, that’s all. But his bail is weighted down with conditions. He’s virtually under a kind of house arrest. Now if he wasn’t Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, none of this would have happened. I doubt whether there would be any prosecution, we’d be having this conversation.
And we learned today [Thursday] that the Swedes had not initiated this appeal against bail that was heard today in the London court. It was the British. Why were they doing it? Were they doing it on behalf of the U.S.? I don’t know the answer to those questions. But suspicions really do mount in this case.
A new John Pilger documentary is always a media event. For over four decades he has set the bar for incisive and intrepid investigative journalism. In The War You Don’t See, his latest, Pilger indicts the mainstream media for its responsibility in enabling wars by sanitizing its image and glorifying its aims.
Michael Moore on why he supports Assange and Wikileaks and why he posted part of his bail (other contributors included John Pilger and our dear friend Tariq Ali)
Also, FAIR has circulated this petition which we encourage you to signt:
We Support WikiLeaks Stand with Daniel Ellsberg, Barbara Ehrenreich, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky and others–sign FAIR’s petition in support of Wikileaks today.
December 14, 2010
As journalists, activists, artists, scholars and citizens, we condemn the array of threats and attacks on the journalist organization WikiLeaks. After the website’s decision, in collaboration with several international media organizations, to publish hundreds of classified State Department diplomatic cables, many pundits, commentators and prominent U.S. politicians have called for harsh actions to be taken to shut down WikiLeaks’ operations.
Tom Flanagan, University of Calgary political science professor, right-wing pundit, and mentor and former senior adviser to Prime Minister Harper, has earned himself more international media attention during the past week than even he may have an appetite for.
On November 30th, Flanagan spoke as one of the regular panelists on CBC Television’s national political analysis program, Power and Politics with Evan Solomon. Staring into the camera, while across the bottom of the television screen there appeared a banner reading “WIKILEAKS LATEST: New document mentions PM Stephen Harper,” Flanagan had this to say about Julian Assange, the founder and editor of Wikileaks:
Well, I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.