Just under two weeks ago the WikiLeaksIsDemocracy statement was sent to several leading intellectuals, community organizers, activists, and people from varying political perspectives by Linda Schade. The hope was to begin building a serious, contemplative, engaged community—both nationally and internationally—who are not only concerned about preserving the U.S. Constitution, but understand the consequences of its unraveling as well as the importance of the information being published by WikiLeaks.

Nowhere is this unraveling more apparent than in the WikiLeaks case. Constitutional protections of Freedom of Speech, the Press, and the right of people to peaceably assemble are now in the cross hairs of a United States executive branch run amok with its de facto monitoring of innocent civilians, wars of aggression and other overreaches too numerous to cite here.

The treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, however, merit special mention. Bradley Manning has been held in solitary confinement for 7 months, deprived of many basic human rights. The manner and means of his treatment can only be described as torture. (For an in-depth account of Manning’s treatment and condemnations of such treatment by jurists, non-aligned health organizations, religious and cultural leaders, see Glenn Greenwald's article, The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention.) To date, Julian Assange, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, has been released on bail but is being held under house arrest in the UK even though the Swedish government has filed no charges related to the much publicized sexual allegations. However, after considering and reportedly abandoning the 1917 Espionage Act, the U.S. Justice Department is working overtime to find a way to prosecute Assange, most recently hoping to argue that Assange helped Manning and would be a co-conspirator in the massive leak.

As we can see from Daniel Ellsberg’s excellent appearance on the Steven Colbert Show, those who oppose WikiLeaks and want to see Assange prosecuted are getting their repetitive talking points on the air. Not surprisingly, views supportive of WikiLeaks are not being heard. We need to change that and the 4th action below is intended to do that.

Below are four steps to consider:

1. Write a letter to Attorney General Holder, with copies to President Obama and your elected representatives in Congress denouncing the government’s threatened indictment and extradition of Julian Assange. Click here to send the letter.

2. Write to Members of the House Judiciary Committee who held hearings last Thursday on the Espionage Act and WikiLeaks, urging them to demand that the Department of Justice not prosecute or extradite Assange. Click here to send the letter.

3. Tell your friends about and urge them to sign the statement and join in the effort to protect Freedom of Press and the American public’s right to know what their government is doing. It is going to take a lot of people speaking out to prevent the United States government from prosecuting Julian Assange and others who work with WikiLeaks. We need as many people as possible working on this project."

Click here to send an email to your friends.

4. Support Anonymous’s call for widespread reporting on the diplomatic cables. will provide space for people who want to write articles or blogs about WikiLeaks cables. We also urge you to write letters to the editor and call in to radio shows to express your support for WikiLeaks and the need for transparency in government. Articles providing talking points are attached at the end of this email.

The conflict between WikiLeaks and the U.S. government will define Freedom of Press in the 21st Century. As Americans we all need to work hard to protect our right to know what the government is doing in our name. Please take all of the actions above, forward this email and the URL to everyone you know.


Linda Schade

Suggested reading Naomi Wolf, Espionage Act: How the Government Can Engage in Serious Aggression Against the People of the United States

Kevin Zeese, Assange in the Grasp of U.S. Empire

Ellsberg in LA Times: There should be a Pentagon Papers out every year

Josh, Stieber, An Iraq Surge Vet on Wikileaks

Justin Raimondo, It’s Payback Time! The cyberwar begins

Michael Lind, Does anyone in America believe in the rule of law?

Glenn Greenwald, Getting to Assange through Manning