Please join with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg to take action now for freedom of the press.
He teamed up with us to launch an urgent petition -- at this crucial time for the First Amendment.
The U.S. government is threatening to jail New York Times reporter James Risen if he doesn't reveal a confidential source. Risen, who covers "national security," says he won’t capitulate.
Now you can let this journalist and top government officials know that you’re in solidarity with his brave stand for a free press. Sign the petition "We Support James Risen Because We Support a Free Press."
Why is your support so important?
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has called the government's effort to force Risen to reveal a source "one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades."
Daniel Ellsberg says: "The pursuit of Risen is a warning to potential sources that journalists cannot promise them confidentiality for disclosing Executive Branch criminality, recklessness, deception, unconstitutional policies or lying us into war. Without protecting confidentiality, investigative journalism required for accountability and democracy will wither and disappear."
A recent brief from the Obama administration to the nation's top court "is unflinchingly hostile to the idea of the Supreme Court creating or finding protections for journalists," Politico reported.
The newspaper added that Risen "might be sent to jail or fined if he refuses to identify his sources or testify about other details of his reporting."
This threat is truly ominous. As Ellsberg puts it, "We would know less than we do now about government abuses, less than we need to know to hold officials accountable and to influence policy democratically."
So much is at stake: for whistleblowers, freedom of the press and the public's right to know. And for democracy.
That’s why RootsAction has joined forces with the Center for Media and Democracy, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the Freedom of the Press Foundation and The Nation magazine to insist on protection for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.
-- Norman Solomon for the RootsAction.org team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.