Heavyweights Weigh In On Assange “Show Trial”
And its threat to journalists.
Former NYT Vice Chairman and General Counsel, James C Goodale, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Chris Hedges, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower, Dan Ellsberg to Speak.
Zoom Online Event Wednesday, September 9, 1:00 EST. Register here.
Washington, DC – An online Zoom call will take place for members of the press this Wednesday, September 9 at 1:00 pm EST to address the United States attempt to extradite WikiLeaks’ publisher, Julian Assange. The call will feature Dan Ellsberg, the whistleblower whose release of the Pentagon Papers helped to bring the Viet Nam War to an end, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, and James Goodale, former Vice President of the New York Times.
“If Julian Assange–the first journalist to be indicted in the US for doing journalism–is extradited and prosecuted, the First Amendment will be in a terminal state as protection for investigative reporting on “national security,” said Dan Ellsberg.
The attempt to extradite Julian Assange to the United States for prosecution is a war against freedom of the press and our right to know. If the prosecution of Assange under the Espionage Act occurs, it will define journalism for the 21st Century. No journalist or publisher who exposes war crimes or corruption will be safe.
“The First Amendment will be damaged if Julian Assange is extradited to the United States and convicted under the Espionage Act,” said Goodale, former Vice Chairman of the New York Times and author of “Fighting for the press: the Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles. “I do not represent Julian Assange; I represent the First Amendment.”
In a prepared statement, Hedges also weighed in. “If Julian Assange is extradited, tried and sentenced in the United States, it will mean the end of journalistic investigations into the inner workings of power,” said Hedges. “It will cement into place a terrifying global, corporate tyranny under which borders, nationality, and law mean nothing.”
Daniel Ellsberg: Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
James Goodale: Former General Counsel and Vice Chairman, NY Times during the Pentagon Papers
Chris Hedges: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist
“Once such a legal precedent is set, any publication that publishes classified material, from The New York Times to an alternative website, will be prosecuted and silenced – journalism, real journalism, will, at this point, be dead,” said Hedges
The panel will be moderated by Sue Udry, Executive Director of Defending Rights and Dissent.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: September 9, 2020, 1:00 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Ellsberg, Goodale, Hedges: Assange Extradition and the War on Journalism
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Trump’s assault on the free press is under an international spotlight this week with the resumption of Assange’s extradition hearing. In an age where journalists are under attack globally for doing their jobs, Assange is facing a 175-year sentence for publishing factual documents if extradited to the United States. The Trump administration has gone from denigrating journalists as ‘enemies of the people’ to now criminalizing standard practices in journalism that have long served the public interest.