Thom's blog - Monday December 6th, 2010
You need to know this. After Amazon kicked Wikileaks off their servers last week – thanks in large part to pressure from US Senator Joe Lieberman – the website received another blow over the weekend. PayPal is no longer offering its services – which could affect the whistleblower website’s ability to raise funds through donations. Unclear if PayPal’s decision was motivated under pressure from the US government as well. One thing that is clear – there seems to be an overt campaign to suppress free speech. Students at Columbia University’s school of International and Public Affairs received an email last week warning against posting links to or discussing wikileaks releases on any social networking sites. That is - if students hope to be considered for State Department jobs when they graduate. Georgetown University students also received a similar warning from their Office of Career Services – which has ties to the US State Department. On "Meet the Press" yesterday – Republicans Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called wikileaks founder Julian Assange a “high-tech terrorist”. And - Assange himself admitted he is receiving hundreds of death threats. There is still an Interpol arrest warrant out for Assange for sexual allegations. But – as the news site Counterpunch reported – the accuser in the case has ties to an anti-Castro group funded by the CIA – which could raise questions about what exactly is motivating the charges. So is this just the latest in the US government’s effort to silence Julian Assange and get his website out of the picture? What’s most troubling – where is the mainstream media in calling out clear abuses against freedom of the press and free speech? After all – many news agencies are quick to report Assange’s newsworthy leaks – but not as quick to come to his defense in the face of this anti-information onslaught brought to you by the federal government and possibly the banks who Assange are going to be his next set of leaks. It’s time our media starts doing its job – then Julian Assange wouldn’t have to.