12/14/2010 12:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Prominent Americans Oppose Prosecution and Extradition of Assange

Americans Organize to Support WikiLeaks Transparency

In opposition to efforts by the U.S. Attorney General Holder to extradite Julian Assange, Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks, prominent authors, academics, lawyers, whistleblower activists concerned with eroding civil liberties, government accountability, electronic freedom, opposition to war, and protection of whistleblowers have signed on to a strongly worded statement (below) condemning 'U.S efforts to fraudulently criminalize the legitimate journalism of Julian Assange.

"This statement is the first step in an ongoing campaign to support Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and to re-assert the concept that the U.S. government is accountable to its citizens," said Linda Schade of "We will not accept the manipulation of our legal system to criminalize a journalist; a free and independent press is non-negotiable." The project is planning an aggressive campaign to support Assange and WikiLeaks and has hosted the statement online.

Among the prominent signers are:

John Perry Barlow, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Medea Benjamin, CODE PINK
William Blum, the Empire Report
Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America
Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, author and political activist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, No FEAR Coalition
Daniel Ellsberg, author and former intelligence analyst who released the Pentagon Papers
Jodie Evans, CODE PINK
Margaret Flowers, MD, health care reform advocate
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Eric Garris,
Mike Gogulski, Bradley Manning Support Network
Chris Hedges, Former New York Times war correspondent and author
Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist
Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights
Justin Raimondo,
Coleen Rowley, whistle blower and former TIME Woman of the Year
Linda Schade, Voters for Peace, initiator WikiLeaks Is Democracy
Cindy Sheehan, Peace of the Action
Jeffrey St. Claire, Counterpunch
David Swanson, War is a Crime
Sue Udry, Defending Dissent
Harvey Wasserman, journalist, author, democracy activist
Naomi Wolf, author, democracy advocate and political activist
Colonel Ret. Ann Wright, retired military and U.S. Foreign Service
Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace
Tariq Ali, historian, writer, filmmaker, political activist and commentator.

Statement From

"We, the undersigned, stand in defense of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and their actions to safeguard and advance democracy, transparency and government accountability, as protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Wikileaks performs an invaluable service to the broad U.S. and global public with a commitment to the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Government representatives have issued serious and unjustified threats against Mr. Assange and his non-profit media organization which serve only to maintain a cloak of secrecy around high crimes and violations of international law, including torture, tampering with democratically elected governments, illegal bombings and wars, surveillance, mass slaughter of innocent civilians and more.

We call on all governments, organizations, and individuals of conscience forcefully to condemn and reject all U.S. efforts to fraudulently criminalize the legitimate journalism of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and related efforts to expose an increasingly lawless U.S. government to the indispensable democratic requirement of public scrutiny. True or false, any charges which the Swedish government may pursue are irrelevant to the primacy of an independent free press.

Journalists should not be made into criminals for publishing materials critical of the government. Therefore, we reject any efforts to extradite Julian Assange to the United States or allied client states in relation to these matters. We condemn and reject every incitement to murder, incarcerate or in any way harm Mr. Assange. We encourage all those with information on corruption and violations of law to take courage from the example of Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks by acting to expose all such information into the light of public and judicial review."

Sign up at