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Columbia Uni Journalist School Staff - Letter to Obama. WL prosecution will set a dangerous precede

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posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 07:45 AM
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www.poynter.org...

More people speaking out against the furore against WL. According to the article, this letter was sent to (Mafia Agents) Obama and Holder on 13 December 2010.


President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

December 13, 2010

Dear Mr. President and General Holder:


As faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, we are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Julian Assange or others associated with Wikileaks.

Journalists have a responsibility to exercise careful news judgment when classified documents are involved, including assessing whether a document is legitimately confidential and whether there may be harm from its publication.

But while we hold varying opinions of Wikileaks’ methods and decisions, we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment. Any prosecution of Wikileaks’ staff for receiving, possessing or publishing classified materials will set a dangerous precedent for reporters in any publication or medium, potentially chilling investigative journalism and other First Amendment-protected activity.

As a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves.

The U.S. and the First Amendment continue to set a world standard for freedom of the press, encouraging journalists in many nations to take significant risks on behalf of transparency. Prosecution in the Wikileaks case would greatly damage American standing in free-press debates worldwide and would dishearten those journalists looking to this nation for inspiration.

We urge you to pursue a course of prudent restraint in the Wikileaks matter.
Please note this letter reflects our individual views, not a position of Columbia University or the Journalism School.

Respectfully,

Emily Bell, Professor of Professional Practice; Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Helen Benedict, Professor

Sheila Coronel, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative;
Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism

June Cross, Associate Professor of Journalism

John Dinges, Godfrey Lowell Cabot Professor of Journalism

Joshua Friedman, Director, Maria Moors Cabot Prize for Journalism in the Americas

Todd Gitlin, Professor; Chair, Ph.D. Program

Ari Goldman, Professor

LynNell Hancock, Professor; Director, Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship

Marguerite Holloway, Assistant Professor; Director, Science and Environmental Journalism

David Klatell, Professor of Professional Practice; Chair, International Studies

Nicolas Lemann, Dean; Henry R. Luce Professor

Dale Maharidge, Associate Professor

Arlene Morgan, Associate Dean, Prizes and Programs

Victor S. Navasky, George T. Delacorte Professor in Magazine Journalism; Director,
Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism; Chair, Columbia Journalism Review

Michael Schudson, Professor

Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma


Alisa Solomon, Associate Professor; Director, Arts Concentration, M.A. Program

Paula Span, Adjunct Professor

Duy Linh Tu, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice; Coordinator, Digital Media Program




posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 07:48 AM
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This is the sentence which I believe is the most significant in this letter:

"As a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves."

The problem however, is that the current (and previous) Government actually has a policy of destroying democracy.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


This is an excellent post. Star and Flag.

It is interesting to me that when "crises" like this emerge, you see who the real patriots are. What most "liberal / progressives" will tell you is that freedom of speech and of the press is a critical component of basic human rights.

However, when statists/fascists like Obama and Holder who masquerade as champions of human rights are confronted by a disclosure of their criminality and hypocracy, they become very uncomfortable and their true beliefs start to show.

Yes...before somebody starts whining about how the "patriot act" was Bush, Jr's. brainchild, remember that eric holder and barack obama have expanded the "police state" abilities of the legislation x 100.

I feel sorry for the "progressives" who supported barack obama. They fell for one of the biggest lies told by a politician in US history, and it's gonna end up costing us all.




posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 08:18 AM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


There is one thing that they forgot to mention....before Wikileaks published the cables they asked the US govt if they would like to look them over and help them decide which were too sensitive to be published, Obama and Holder didnt take them up on the offer, so they said basically screw it and published all of them without redaction. If anything, Obama and Holder should be held accountable for not taking them up on the offer.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by rangersdad
reply to post by wcitizen
 


There is one thing that they forgot to mention....before Wikileaks published the cables they asked the US govt if they would like to look them over and help them decide which were too sensitive to be published, Obama and Holder didnt take them up on the offer, so they said basically screw it and published all of them without redaction. If anything, Obama and Holder should be held accountable for not taking them up on the offer.

One reason that I can think of that the US govt would not take them up on the offer would be if the US had knowledge that the cables were previously sold by wikileaks to other parties, and their public release meant nothing in comparison.
There were mentions in other WL threads here that Israel paid to have damaging info withheld from release.
It is possible that WL sold the info to the highest bidder a while ago.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 08:56 AM
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STAR AND FLAGG!!!!!!!!!! EXCELLENT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by rangersdad
reply to post by wcitizen
 


There is one thing that they forgot to mention....before Wikileaks published the cables they asked the US govt if they would like to look them over and help them decide which were too sensitive to be published, Obama and Holder didnt take them up on the offer, so they said basically screw it and published all of them without redaction. If anything, Obama and Holder should be held accountable for not taking them up on the offer.


I agree with you - except that they have redacted the cables themselves, and in consultation with the Guardian and NYT. But in fact, it then became known that NYT is submitting them to the Gov before publishing, so the Gov can censor them. More trickery and duplicity!



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