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PORTSIDE  December 2010, Week 2

PORTSIDE December 2010, Week 2

Subject:

Michael Moore: Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 20:42:06 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (180 lines)

Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange (A statement
from Michael Moore)

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Friends,

Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London,
the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented
to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up
$20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my
website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can
do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its
work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and
carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands
are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war
crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They
might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they
thought they could get away with it was because they had a
guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been
ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate
in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important
public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have
outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth.
The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks "has violated the
Espionage Act."

**The New Yorker's George Packer calls Assange "super-
secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal."

**Sarah Palin claims he's "an anti-American operative with
blood on his hands" whom we should pursue "with the same
urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign
manager) said about Assange on Fox: "A dead man can't leak
stuff ... there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the
son of a bitch."

**Republican Mary Matalin says "he's a psychopath, a
sociopath ... He's a terrorist."

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a "terrorist
organization."

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and
warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others.
Perhaps the next war won't be so easy because the tables have
been turned -- and now it's Big Brother who's being watched
... by us!

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on
all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have
dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks ("they've released
little that's new!") or have painted them as simple
anarchists ("WikiLeaks just releases everything without any
editorial control!"). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the
mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility.
The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it
impossible for good journalists to do their job. There's no
time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply
put, investors don't want those stories exposed. They like
their secrets kept ... as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if
WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this
photo. That's Mr. Bush about to be handed a "secret" document
on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: "Bin Ladin Determined
To Strike in US." And on those pages it said the FBI had
discovered "patterns of suspicious activity in this country
consistent with preparations for hijackings." Mr. Bush
decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four
weeks.

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have
reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there
not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done
something if all of us knew about bin Laden's impending
attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document.
Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in
San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no
interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read
about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called
the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen
Rowley, Time's 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief
that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been
prevented.)

Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read "secret"
memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him
the "facts" he wanted in order to build his false case for
war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there
were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think
that the war would have been launched -- or rather, wouldn't
there have been calls for Cheney's arrest?

Openness, transparency -- these are among the few weapons the
citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the
corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 -- after the
Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by
the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin -- there had been
a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing
was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million
Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it's wrong to support Julian
Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he's being
held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the
government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please
-- never, ever believe the "official story." And regardless
of Assange's guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of
the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail
posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers
Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting
up the bail money -- and we hope the judge will accept this
and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic
negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps.
But that's the price you pay when you and your government
take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for
misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in
the room so that we can see what you're up to. You simply
can't be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is
now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No
one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big
Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done.
WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of
their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them
are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I
ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to
guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have
wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to
continue unchallenged.

Yours, Michael Moore 
[log in to unmask] 
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. You can read the statement I filed today in the London
court here.

P.P.S. If you're reading this in London, please go support
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks at a demonstration at 1 PM
today, Tuesday the 14th, in front of the Westminster court.

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

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