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SUPPORTERS OF WIKILEAKS AND JULIAN ASSANGE
As of December 2010, the following organizations and individuals had expressed their support for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange (its founder), and/or Bradley Manning (the former U.S. Army soldier who furnished WikiLeaks with many of its classified documents):


ORGANIZATIONS:

Avaaz
: On December 8, 2010, this organization, which promotes left-wing political agendas through web-based movement-building and public-opinion campaigns, launched a petition in support of WikiLeaks; it was signed by more than 250,000 people within the first few hours.

The Atlantic magazine: Following the November 2010 leak of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, The Atlantic, in a staff editorial, opined: "Wikileaks is a powerful new way for reporters and human rights advocates to leverage global information technology systems to break the heavy veil of government and corporate secrecy that is slowly suffocating the American press." Calling legal and physical threats against WikiLeaks volunteers "shameful," the magazine added: "Not since President Richard Nixon directed his minions to go after Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan ... has a working journalist and his source been subjected to the kind of official intimidation and threats that have been directed at Assange and Manning by high-ranking members of the Obama Administration."

Code Pink: This organization's founder, Medea Benjamin, is a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network Advisory Board.

Courage to Resist: This group developed a legal-defense fund to assist with Bradley Manning’s court expenses.

The Greater New Haven Peace Council: This front for the Communist Party USA has campaigned in support of Bradley Manning.

The International Socialist Organization's Boston chapter said in December 2010: “In many ways, WikiLeaks [has] confirmed with damning evidence what many people around the world already knew: that the U.S. is the biggest bully in the world and uses all kinds of violence and power to remain the world’s only superpower. While the Obama Administration and other governments of the world claim that WikiLeaks is criminal for 'endangering lives of Americans' and 'undermining democracy and diplomacy,' it is the U.S.’ actions that are outrageous—not the efforts of brave whistleblowers to expose them.”

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW): This organization's executive director, José Vasquez, is a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s Advisory Board.

The Movement for a Democratic Society – which seeks "to effect change at the most basic levels of economic, political, and social organization" by means of "a radical, democratic program counter-posed to authoritarian movements" – supports Bradley Manning.

The National Lawyers Guild's Military Law Task Force – a network of attorneys, law students, and legal workers concerned with the rights of service members and veterans – supports Assange and Manning. On August 12, 2010, the Guild's Oklahoma chapter supported a pro-Manning rally organized by the Oklahoma Center for Conscience.

The Oklahoma Center for Conscience – which promotes “a belief in the power of conscience as the way to end war and warmaking” – supports Bradley Manning.

QueerToday, a network of “queer social justice activists,” supports Bradley Manning.

The Peace and Freedom Party said in 2010: “Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack. Therefore the Peace and Freedom Party is joining many other organizations that are using their websites to help insure that these documents are continuously available.”

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality – a self-described “organization committed to fighting for LGBT rights including marriage equality” – supports Bradley Manning.

The San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice – which has sponsored numerous anti-war teach-ins, vigils, and rallies since 9/11 – supports Bradley Manning.

The San Diego Military Counseling Project
– which helps service members “apply for discharges based on conscientious objection, hardship and dependency” – supports Bradley Manning.

The San Francisco Labor Council, which is the local body of the AFL-CIO, formally opposes the prosecution of Bradley Manning. In 2010 the organization sent letters to President Obama, California Congressional representatives, and California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, calling for the charges to be dropped and for Manning to be released.

The Social Alliance's national convener, Peter Boyle, said in late 2010: “The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the U.S. government and its allies. We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the American government in hunting Julian Assange down. The exposure of classified U.S. government cables and other material by Wikileaks is an enormous plus for all those who are fighting for truth and democracy and against war and exploitation. Wikileaks and Assange deserve our strongest support.”

The Socialist Party USA said in late 2010: “The Wikileaks documents that were bravely secured by Bradley Manning and published by Julian Assange reveal a U.S. military operation in Afghanistan that has violated nearly every tenet of international human rights.... These documents prove decisively that the truth is indeed the first casualty of war.... Now is the time to summon the courage of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. To protect them against the repression of the US government.”

SocialistWorker.org said in 2010: “The irony about the push by U.S. officials to close down WikiLeaks, of course, is that the U.S. establishment is highly critical of governments like Iran's and China's when they attempt to censor the Internet.... But when it's the U.S. attempting to do the censoring and keep official secrets away from the public, suddenly a little 'authoritarianism' doesn't seem so bad.... [T]he international manhunt for Assange and the American media's guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude is in stark contrast to the lack of outrage about the governments and military officials that WikiLeaks has again proved are guilty of enabling murder, massacres and torture.... Focusing on Julian Assange and the supposed 'threat' he poses is far easier for politicians and the media than dealing with the disclosures of U.S. complicity in massacres and torture.”

The Tom Hayden Peace and Justice Resource Center – which calls for “the U.S. to exit the wars in the Middle East” – supports Bradley Manning.

United for Peace and Justice
– an antiwar coalition founded by the pro-Castro communist Leslie Cagansupports Bradley Manning.

Veterans For Peace (VFP): In July 2010, VFP president Mike Ferner wrote: "Neither Wikileaks nor the soldier or soldiers who divulged the documents should be prosecuted for revealing this information. We should give them a medal."

Voters for Peace executive director Kevin Zeese is a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s advisory board.

The War Resisters League (WRL) believes that “Bradley Manning should be free because speaking the truth about war is not a crime.” Adds WRL: “We honor Bradley for his courageous act of resistance to the U.S. occupation of West and South Asia.”

The Washington Peace Center – a leftist organization working for “peace, justice, and non-violent social change in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area since 1963” – is “proud to support Bradley Manning and [to] demand [that] he be immediately released from custody and that all charges against him be dropped.”

The World Can’t Wait – an antiwar group founded by Charles Clark Kissinger, a longtime leader of the Revolutionary Communist Partysupports Bradley Manning.

The World Socialist website demanded, in late 2010, “an immediate halt to the campaign against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange,” asserting that “all the documents WikiLeaks has in its possession should be released for the world to see.”


INDIVIDUALS:

Medea Benjamin (founder of Code Pink): A member of the Bradley Manning Support Network Advisory Board, Ms. Benjamin said in 2010: “Democracy needs whistleblowers, and peace activists need Bradley Manning. We must honor his courage by turning these leaks into a tsunami of support for him and pressure on our elected officials to end the wars.”

Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance, said in 2010: “The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the U.S. government and its allies. We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the American government in hunting Julian Assange down. The exposure of classified U.S. government cables and other material by Wikileaks is an enormous plus for all those who are fighting for truth and democracy and against war and exploitation. Wikileaks and Assange deserve our strongest support.”

Noam Chomsky: The longtime linguistics professor and leftist icon lauded Bradley Manning as a man of "courage" and "integrity." Said Chomsky: “It is a privilege to join the campaign to support Bradley Manning for his courage and integrity in serving his country by helping make the government accountable to its citizens, and to inform the world of what its people should know.”

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo: A member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s Advisory Board, Coleman-Adebayo is a founder and leader of the No FEAR Coalition and EPA Employees Against Racial Discrimination. She said in late 2010: “To single out this young man [Manning], who unlike his superiors has the moral conviction and the requisite courage to call a war crime a war crime—is reprehensible. We have an immediate past-President, Vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State, Directors of Central Intelligence and many other high-ranking U.S. officials who were instrumental in the lies that led to the wars the United States started under the Bush administration. Yet not one of those senior officials has been held accountable.”

Daniel Ellsberg: The man who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, Ellsberg has defended WikiLeaks on a number of occasions. Following WikiLeaks' November 28, 2010 release of some 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, Ellsberg rejected criticism that the website was endangering the lives of U.S. military personnel and intelligence assets. “Not one single soldier or informant has been in danger from any of the WikiLeaks releases,” he said. “That risk has been largely overblown.” A member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s Advisory Board, Ellsberg also said in 2010: “From what I’ve heard of Manning, he is a new hero of mine.”

Mike Gravel: Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska, 1969-1981) was instrumental in bringing the Pentagon Papers to public attention in 1971. In 2010 he said: “Bradley Manning has displayed intellect and courage far beyond his years. He has demonstrated a sensitivity to the needs of our Democracy: informing the American public of the actual goings-on within the military at war. How else will voters influence their representatives? His conduct properly embarrasses our political and military leadership from the president on down. Any punishment for his actions underscores that embarrassment.”

Scott Horton: The host of Antiwar Radio and the keeper of The Stress Blog, Horton was foreign policy adviser to 2004 U.S. Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik. “Bradley Manning’s [apparent] self-sacrifice in order to deliver to the people of America and the world important truths about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is nothing short of heroic,” Horton said in 2010. “Were the these facts dependent only on America’s ‘free press’ to receive the light of day, they would all simply suffocate in the dark.... Please help the Bradley Manning Support Network, Courage to Resist and their associates in raising the money necessary to defend this brave young man before his upcoming military court martial.”

Arianna Huffington said of Assange in late 2010:To call him a terrorist is really to ... underestimate what ‘terrorist’ means. I find it so objectionable when we throw these words around, when we call people terrorists who have not done anything that would conventionally be seen as a terrorist act.” When Huffington was subsequently asked whether she objected to Assange "putting innocent lives, not to mention the lives of our soldiers, in jeopardy,” she replied: “I think that our government is putting the lives of our soldiers in jeopardy in Afghanistan for no clear national-security reason.... I find it so upsetting when we’re equating acts of terrorism with the release of information that is actually exposing a disastrous American foreign policy.”

Connie Mack IV (Republican congressman from Florida): Praising WikiLeaks, Rep. Mack in 2010 agreed with the assertion that Americans have a right to know the contents of the leaks, “no matter how we acquire that knowledge.”

Michael Moore: On August 20, 2010, the famed filmmaker -- a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s advisory board -- told the Associated Press that he would contribute $5,000 to Manning’s legal defense. Moore called Manning a “courageous” and "patriotic" individual deserving of a "Profiles in Courage" award.

James Oaksun, the national chair of Outright Libertarians – an association of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other self-identified 'queer'” Libertarian Party activists and supporters – said in 2010: “We are involved in two hot wars, and we learned a long time ago that ‘following orders’ is not a defense for improper actions. I am troubled by the information and the nature of the events Pfc. Manning has revealed, and also think it’s inexcusable to attempt to impugn Pfc. Manning personally. I am pleased to support Pfc. Manning and urge that his case be adjudicated promptly.”

Ron Paul (Republican Congressman of Texas ): On December 3, 2010, Ron Paul spoke out publicly during a Fox Business interview in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. "In a free society, we're supposed to know the truth," Paul said. "In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble." In another speech before U.S. House of Representatives, Paul again defended WikiLeaks and asserted that "lying is not patriotic."

John Pilger: In an August 2010 editorial titled "WikiLeaks Must Be Defended," this documentary filmmaker said that WikiLeaks represented the interests of "public accountability" and a new form of journalism that was at odds with "the dominant section ... devoted merely to taking down what cynical and malign power tells it." Pilger, who regards Assange as a personal friend whom he holds in “very high regard,” also offered to pay 20,000 pounds in sureties for Assange's court case. Pilger added that as a result of the WikiLeaks controversies, Assange “has made a lot of enemies, the principal one being the warmonger, the United States.”

Justin Raimondo, editorial director for Antiwar.com, said: “I can think of no more important immediate task for the antiwar movement, and for civil libertarians in general, than freeing Bradley Manning, and defending Wikileaks from attack. The Bradley Manning Support Network is essential to both of these efforts, and I urge you to give it your unqualified endorsement: contribute money, your time, and spread the word — Free Bradley Manning!”

Wade Rathke, former chief organizer of ACORN, wrote an article in defense of WikiLeaks in December 2010.

Marakay Rogers – a former Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania and a board member of Outright Libertarianssaid in late 2010: “Bradley Manning is an American hero. In this day and age, there is no more dangerous yet vitally necessary act than speaking the truth about our government.”

Israel Shamir, a noted anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, serves as WikiLeaks' content aggregator in Russia. In this role, Shamir is responsible for selecting and distributing secret cables to Russian news organizations.

Kevin Zeese, executive director of Voters for Peace, is a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network’s advisory board.

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