Decline of The Empire: Wikileaks hounded?

Here's a statement on the vilification of Wikileaks from Reporters Without Borders that one might have liked to have seen -- might once upon a time reasonably have expected to see -- on the editorial page of the New York Times or in a statement from the news networks:
Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Earlier this week, after the publishing several hundred of the 250.000 cables it says it has in its possession, WikiLeaks had to move its site from its servers in Sweden to servers in the United States controlled by online retailer Amazon. Amazon quickly came under pressure to stop hosting WikiLeaks from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and its chairman, Sen. Joe Lieberman, in particular.

After being ousted from Amazon, WikiLeaks found a refuge for part of its content with the French Internet company OVH. But French digital economy minister Eric Besson today said the French government was looking at ways to ban hosting of the site. WikiLeaks was also recently dropped by its domain name provider EveryDNS. Meanwhile, several countries well known for for their disregard of freedom of expression and information, including Thailand and China, have blocked access to

This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

Meanwhile, two Republican senators, John Ensign and Scott Brown, and an independent Lieberman, have introduced a bill that would make it illegal to publish the names of U.S. military and intelligence agency informants. This could facilitate future prosecutions against WikiLeaks and its founder. But a criminal investigation is already under way and many U.S. politicians are calling vociferously for Assange’s arrest.

Reporters Without Borders can only condemn this determination to hound Assange and reiterates its conviction that WikiLeaks has a right under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment to publish these documents and is even playing a useful role by making them available to journalists and the greater public.

We stress that any restriction on the freedom to disseminate this body of documents will affect the entire press, which has given detailed coverage to the information made available by WikiLeaks, with five leading international newspapers actively cooperating in preparing it for publication.

Reporters Without Borders would also like to stress that it has always defended online freedom and the principle of “Net neutrality,” according to which Internet Service Providers and hosting companies should play no role in choosing the content that is placed online.
For other aspects of the Wikileaks story:
Full coverage of The US embassy cables on the site;
BBC News' Wikileaks revelations;
WikiLeaked: Inside the State Department's Secret CablesCredit MacLeod Cartoons at Foreign Policy's blog;
Wiki Leaks on Democracy Now!;
One Analyst, So Many Documents: How could Bradley Manning alone have leaked so much classified material? by Marc Ambinder;
US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment by Simon Jenkins;
The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange by David Samuels;
Wikileaks Evolves by Raffi Khatchadourian;
WikiLeaks reveals more than just government secrets, The moral standards of WikiLeaks critics and other Salon posts by Glenn Greenwald;
WikiLeaks vs. The Empire by Tom Hayden;
Hillary Clinton Gets Wiki-Served by Robert Scheer;
The (Not So) Secret (Anymore) US War in Pakistan by Jeremy Scahill;
Greg Mitchell's Blogging the Wikileaks;
WL Central: An unofficial WikiLeaks information resource.

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