President Obama recently stated that Private Manning’s conditions comply with the Pentagon’s basic standards. Given that those standards apparently permit Private Manning to be subjected to plainly unconstitutional conditions, it is clear that the Department of Defense must adapt its standards to meet the demands of the constitution. - American Civil Liberties Union
“AGAINST VIOLENCE UNDER THE CLOAK OF CARE”
Second open letter to the president of the American Medical Association
Dear Dr. Wilson,
There has been a disappointing and disturbing silence in answer to the registered letter I sent to you and the American Medical Association you represent. In this letter, sent on February 23rd, 2011, I asked the AMA to take all measures in their power to stop the abuse of medical terminology and the medical profession assisting in torture. More specifically, I asked you to speak out against the sale of the torturous ‘prevention of injury’ procedure used on Bradley Manning to the greater public as a form of justified “care”.
We know from professional literature on extreme forms of abuse that it is attractive to many perpetrators to shift labels to conceal the real nature and seriousness of their actions. These relabeling techniques help them to shrug off responsibility, to maintain their position in society and to further disempower their victims by confusing them (see professional literature on e.g. the phenomenon of gaslighting). The following three articles show us how important it is to continue to correctly label the treatment of Bradley Manning as torture and as inappropriate:
Vote for Julian Assange in The 2011 TIME 100 Poll, here!
As of today, April 8, 2011, Julian Assange is ranked number 8, behind Susan Boyle at number 4, Beyonce at number 3, Jay Chou at number 2 and Rain at number 1. Bradley Manning is ranked at No. 38 out of 203 nominees. The poll asks its readers to: "Cast your votes for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world. The winner will be included in the TIME 100. Voting closes on April 14."
In last year's Time Person of the Year poll, Julian Assange was the clear readers' favourite, 148,383 votes ahead of the runner up. (Bradley Manning did not receive a nomination for Person of the Year 2010.) Time ignored the readers votes and chose the tenth placed Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Julian Assange received 382,026 votes, and a 92% average rating, Zuckerberg received 18,353 votes and a 52% average rating. As pointed out by many, Assange's organization takes information from public organizations and gives it freely to private citizens, while Zuckerberg's takes information from private citizens and sells it to public organizations. The distinction was famously acknowledged by Time managing editor Rick Stengel as: "While Assange attacks big institutions and governments through involuntary transparency with the goal of disempowering them, Zuckerberg enables individuals to voluntarily share information with the idea of empowering them. Assange sees the world as filled with real and imagined enemies; Zuckerberg sees the world as filled with potential friends."
In defending the move, Stengel said he felt that “When I make the choice, I think of [what] has actually affected people’s lives the most [in] the past year. Five years from now, who’s going to look smart? Julian Assange has been in the news a lot lately. I think five years from now, he’ll be an asterisk. If you really wanted to, [you would] make [leaker] Bradley Manning. Julian Assange was the wine bottle, and Bradley Manning supplied the wine. In the grand scheme of things, it will be a footnote to history.” He did not however, supply any information in the interview addressing why Bradley Manning was not nominated for Person of the Year, despite his stated opinion that Manning was the real newsmaker.
Last year as the Time Person of the Year vote concluded, Assange was in solitary confinement in a jail in London. Now, as fellow Time 100 nominee Bradley Manning continues in solitary confinement, Assange awaits an appeal trial on July 12 and 13 against his extradition. If it fails, it will most likely result in him being in solitary confinement again, this time in Sweden.
A letter in support of WikiLeaks from Frontline and others:
We believe that free societies everywhere are best served by journalism that holds governments and corporations to account. We assert that the right to publish is equal to, and the consequence of, the citizen's right to know. While we believe in personal privacy and accept a need for confidentiality, we hold that disclosure in the public interest is paramount. Liberty, accountability and true democratic choice can only be guaranteed by rigorous scrutiny. We defend the right to publish the truth responsibly without obstruction and persecution by the state. The primary duty of journalists everywhere is to advance the cause of understanding, not to assist governments and powerful interests in suppressing information, and never to defer to ingrained habits of secrecy.
If this campaign does not reach $5,200 by 15 Apr 08:32 UTC, no credit cards will be charged.
UPDATE: Great job guys! With your support we have been able to fund one WikiLeaks billboard in Los Angeles and hope to fund more. This particular campaign is to fund a billboard in Chicago to further spread the WikiLeaks cause throughout the nation.
It is my sincere hope that everyone who believes in freedom of speech and transparency in government will take action by supporting this billboard campaign. Our government is treading in dangerous waters on this issue. We need to show our elected officials that we defend WikiLeaks, and demand adherence to the 1st Amendment and transparency in government. I stand behind WikiLeaks. Many Americans do. And though we all love our country, we want the facts and deserve the truth.
Our billboard will demand attention and entice news outlets to cover it. It will compel our elected officials to take notice, as we loudly express our support for WikiLeaks. We have a tremendous opportunity here. We can actually make our voices heard. It's up to us to spread this message.
I am extremely passionate about this campaign, but know that with the help of my fellow Epic Steppers, we can make it even better. I came up with this message: "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act! - George Orwell." While I like this message, I think there could be a better one out there. So, I'd like to ask all you amazing designers and writers out there to come up with witty messages and creative designs. We need to have the best options possible to choose from in order to make our billboard really stand out and capture the hearts, minds, and news cameras this cause so desperately needs.
Sign the Open Letter to the United States Government, Demand that they Stop Prosecution of Assange and WikiLeaks
Open Letter to the United States Government Regarding WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the Fundamental Tenets of Democracy and Open Societies.
To President Obama, US Senators and Congressmen and women, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice, and all of those involved in the attempt to prosecute Julian Assange, founder of the nonprofit news organization WikiLeaks.org:
We are a diverse group of people from around the world who have come together for a common purpose: to defend WikiLeaks, to ask the United States to cease its attempts to manufacture a case against Julian Assange, and to defend democratic principles and our fundamental rights guaranteed therein. We are professionals, homemakers, activists, students, and others who believe that government derives its power from the consent of the governed, as stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, but that citizens can only give meaningful consent if they are fully informed about their government's actions. Nothing more violates American principles, which inspire both those of us who are and are not American citizens, than the idea that "government knows best" and has the right to deceive its own people.
"FREE ASSANGE! FREE MANNING! FREE SPEECH!"
Four Days of Action announced for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th February.
Cyber, anti-war and human rights activists will today descend on the Australian High Commission and on Monday/Tuesday on the Woolwich magistrates court, while on Saturday there will be a public meeting in Harringay, north London.
FOUR DAYS OF ACTION ANNOUNCED
"FREE ASSANGE! FREE MANNING! FREE SPEECH!"
Friday 4 February: Cyber, anti-war and human rights activists will today descend on the Australian High Commission and on Monday and Tuesday 7 and 8 February on the Woolwich magistrates court, attached to the Category A Belmarsh Prison, to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, presently on restrictive bail and facing extradition, and also for Bradley Manning, the young soldier who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico Marine Base in USA. The activist groups will join others from WikiLeaks London Support group outside the court.
Saturday 5 February: a public meeting will be held at Harringay's Giuseppe Conlon Hall, which also serves as a 'house of hospitality' for refugees and others in need of help and support. Speakers will include former political prisoner of the US, Ciaron O'Reilly, and a speaker from the support group 'UK Friends of Bradley Manning'. Footage from the 'Collateral Murder' video Manning is accused of leaking will be shown and there will also be live music.
IRISH DISARMAMENT ACTION MENTIONED IN WIKILEAKS
Call to Action in support of Julian Assange / WikiLeaks in Monday's London Extradition Hearing
Auto-emailing United Kingdom media, their Embassy and Consulates in support of Julian in his extradition hearing. There are 5 individual identical emails each with 25 addresses. PLEASE sign all 5. Click here to go there.
The following letter of support for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks will be available for signing at the Minneapolis, MN: Demonstration supporting Julian Assange and Wikileaks and will be delivered. Any group in one of the other 27 cities with British Consulates (or UK Embassy in Washington DC) is free to copy our letter as a model:
February 7, 2011
Honorary United Kingdom Consul William R. McGrann:
Today Julian Assange stands before a court that will decide if he will be extradited to Sweden. Our concern is the same as that of Mr. Assange's lawyers - that this is just the first step in his being rendered illegally from Sweden to the United States. We hope and stress that the laws of the United Kingdom be upheld. Political rendition is unlawful in the United Kingdom, but there are several indications that extradition to Sweden would serve as false cover to effectively render him illegally to the United States.
The seven major points of law (see Guardian article: "WikiLeaks: Julian Assange 'faces execution or Guantanamo detention'") outlined by Assange's attorneys need to be fairly evaluated without any of the extra-legal political pressure from the United States that has, unfortunately, occurred during the Chilcot Inquiry or vis a vis Spanish authorities' inquiries into Iraq War crimes and the Bush Administration's use of torture and illegal renditions.
We note that United States' interference in other countries' justice systems, including the justice system of England, runs against the international wisdom of how we honor each other as nations.
Translated from German
The massive intimidation by corporations such as Visa, Master Card, Paypal and Amazon against Wikileaks is a frontal attack on press freedom. Subscribe to our appeal to the company!
To those in charge of Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and Amazon
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your notice to Wikileaks provide a massive attack constitutes at the press freedom at risk with this approach a cornerstone of democracy. Quit now your obviously politically motivated attempts to block and take the business to Wikileaks again!
Please join us in signing our petition here.
Support Julian Assange Our Freedom Depends on it.
2011-01-19 Video Protest: This is a simple and direct open letter to the US government about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange spoken on video by people from around the world. We presently have approximately 12 countries and 35-50 people on board. The video will include your voices as part of a collective message as well as other relevant imagery and quotes that provide a full picture to help us meet our objective. The goal is for this video to be powerful, intelligent, moving and straightforward.
The objective of this project is two-fold. First, it is to interrupt the US government’s attempts to villainize and prosecute Julian Assange and bring down WikiLeaks. Second, it is to assist in shifting public opinion in the US by strategically highlighting the potential loss of key freedoms including free speech and a free press and the implications this could have on open societies everywhere. This video will be uploaded onto YouTube, highlighted on the www.support-julian-assange.com site, and loaded onto our new site (in construction) called www.nomino.org.
Open letter to be read
2011-01-15: Dear President Obama,
I am outraged by the abuse of power by your government I have been witnessing against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
It is very clear to me that actions in those regards are NOT designed to protect the people, but to keep information about corruption and deceit by the government covered at all cost.
I ask you to stop all action against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. I ask you to expose the corrupt individuals in your government and those who are protecting them. I ask for them to bear the consequences of their actions. Lastly, I ask you to assume personal responsibility for the humane and just treatment of Bradley Manning.
Dagi Cueppers (on behalf of anybody who signs this petition)
Please join us in signing the petition and tweeting the message to Barack Obama here.
2011-01-06: Rally4WikiLeaks has created an email form that lets people send an email message to up to 12 Australian Federal MPs at a time.
2011-01-07: I read WikiLeaks. I support freedom of speech and our free press, not torture, military coups, or drone strikes on civilians.
I support WikiLeaks because government secrecy is used to protect powerful criminals, not to protect the people.
My government has no right to threaten me or to frighten me or to lie to me to protect the guilty.
I read WikiLeaks.
Please join us in signing the petition here.
2011-01-06: An Appeal for WikiLeaks
The German activist group www.bewegung.taz.de has posted an "Online Aktion Unterzeichner liste" (on-line petition) "Appell gegen die Kriminalisierung von WikiLeaks" (An Appeal Against The Criminalization of WikiLeaks)
"Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte der Vereinten Nationen Artikel 19: "Jeder hat das Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit und freie Meinungsäußerung; dieses Recht schließt die Freiheit ein, Meinungen ungehindert anzuhängen sowie über Medien jeder Art und ohne Rücksicht auf Grenzen Informationen und Gedankengut zu suchen, zu empfangen und zu verbreiten."
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers "
There are already over 15 K signatories on the list; please join us in our support by signing the petition here
2010-12-15: FAIR: We Support WikiLeaks
FAIR (Freedom and Accuracy in Reporting) has published a petition in support of WikiLeaks, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, Barbara Ehrenreich, Arundhati Roy, Medea Benjamin, Tom Morello, John Nichols and more. The text reads:
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.
Major corporations like Amazon.com, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have acted to disrupt the group's ability to publish. U.S. legal authorities and others have repeatedly suggested, without providing any evidence, that WikiLeaks' posting of government secrets is a form of criminal behavior--or that at the very least, such activity should be made illegal. "To the extent there are gaps in our laws," Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed (11/29/10), "we will move to close those gaps."
Throughout this episode, journalists and prominent media outlets have largely refrained from defending WikiLeaks' rights to publish material of considerable news value and obvious public interest. It appears that these media organizations are hesitant to stand up for this particular media outlet's free speech rights because they find the supposed political motivations behind WikiLeaks' revelations objectionable.
2010-12-08: Avaaz petition in support of WikiLeaks
Global activist organization Avaaz has launched a petition titled Wikileaks: Stop the crackdown. The text reads:
"Whatever we think of WikiLeaks, the massive campaign of intimidation against it is sending a chill through free speech and media advocates everywhere. Top US politicians has even gone as far as calling WikiLeaks a terrorist organization and suggested assassination of its staff, and the organization has come under massive corporate attack to shut it down.
Right now, dozens of governments and corporations are being heavily pressured to join the crackdown -- we urgently need the public to take a stand and make sure our governments protect our democracies and rule of law.
Sign the petition to stop the crackdown below and forward this email to everyone -- let's get 1 million voices against the crackdown this week!"
"To the U.S. government and corporations linked to Wikileaks:
We call on you to stop the crackdown on Wikileaks and its partners immediately. We urge you to respect the democratic principles and laws of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. If Wikileaks and the journalists it works with have violated any laws they should be pursued in the courts with due process. They should not be subjected to an extra-judicial campaign of intimidation."
Please join us in signing the petition here.
2010-12-08: Italy: Il Fatto Quotidiano Petition
7 dicembre 2010
Salviamo il soldato Assange!
Firma la petizione
Julian Assange è stato arrestato il 7 dicembre, per accuse scandalose oltre che incredibili: un rapporto sessuale consenziente, un preservativo che non ha funzionato. La verità è un’altra: Assange è stato catturato come un micidiale terrorista (un «uomo che vuol distruggere il mondo», dixit il ministro Frattini) perché nella sua qualità di direttore di WikiLeaks ha fatto luce su politiche, misfatti, crimini che dovevano restare segreti, custoditi nelle segrete di cancellerie e ambasciate, inaccessibili all´opinione pubblica mondiale che sta prendendo forma nel web. Chiediamo che sia immediatamente liberato. Allo stesso modo chiediamo chiarezza sul caso di Bradley Manning, il soldato che rischia 52 anni di carcere per aver rivelato a WikiLeaks i crimini contro i civili commessi dall´esercito Usa in Iraq. I soldati che appaiono nei video da lui trasmessi a Wikileaks, colpevoli di massacri di civili, sono stati elogiati dal comando militare Usa per il loro «giudizio sensato».
Saving private Assange
2010-12-09: Get Up! Action for Australia: Petition in support of WikiLeaks
Get Up! is hosting a petition in support of WikiLeaks. The campaign organizers also plan to take out ads in The New York Times and Washington Times. The petition reads:
"Dear President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder:
We, as Australians, condemn calls for violence, including assassination, against Australian citizen and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, or for him to be labeled a terrorist, enemy combatant or be treated outside the ordinary course of justice in any way.
As Thomas Jefferson said, "information is the currency of democracy." Publishing leaked information in collaboration with major news outlets, as Wikileaks and Mr. Assange have done, is not a terrorist act.
Australia and the United States are the strongest of allies. Our soldiers serve side by side and we’ve experienced, and condemned, the consequences of terrorism together. To label Wikileaks a terrorist organisation is an insult to those Australians and Americans who have lost their lives to acts of terrorism and to terrorist forces.
If Wikileaks or their staff have broken international or national laws, let that case be heard in a just and fair court of law. At the moment, no such charges have been brought.
We are writing as Australians to say what our Government should have: all Australian citizens deserve to be free from persecution, threats of violence and detention without charge, especially from our friend and ally, the United States.
We call upon you to stand up for our shared democratic principles of the presumption of innocence and freedom of information."
Please join us in signing the petition here.
Appeal to Cecil B. Wilson, MD, president of the American Medical Association
Dear Dr Wilson,
I wish to alert you, as the president of the American Medical Association (AMA), to possible abuse of the medical profession, on US soil, by those who may engage in practices amounting to torture.
Private Bradley Manning is the alleged source of a leak of documents from
the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and from cables between American
diplomats worldwide to website/publisher WikiLeaks. This has made him America's foremost political prisoner. At the moment he is kept in conditions similar to solitary confinement on the Quantico Marine base in Virginia. This has created a genuine concern worldwide for the health of Mr Manning and the legitimacy of his situation. The following article basically says it all: