On Feb.6, Josh Wolf became the longest-imprisoned journalist* who has ever been held on contempt charges in the United States, and it’s time for the solidarity bit to hit high gear! Journalists get your war drums on ! Get your banners up ! Start writing in protest ! Take action !
2. 10 Things You Can Do Right Now on the FreeJosh website , which includes a list of banners like this one below to put up on your site.
3. Think outside the box… Create your own response !
This blog excerpt from prison really hit home just how far Josh is taking the battle for the freedom of ALL journalists:
“Many have asked me why Iâ€™ve chosen to sacrifice my personal freedom, and there are a multitude of reasons why I have taken the stance that I have. Most pressing is the fact that a free press in a democracy cannot act as an extension of the justice department. This can be summed up nicely with the words of Amy Goodman who recently stated â€œweâ€™re supposed to be the fourth estate not for the State.â€
If the U.S. Attorney can compel journalists to testify about what theyâ€™ve learned through their work and to force then to turn over their unpublished materials then not only will the public be unable to trust reporters but journalists themselves will become defacto deputies and investigatorsâ€“a role few of us want and one I have refused to accept. This is not a new construct, it is one that dates back to the founding of our country and is one that is guaranteed under the First Amendment of our Constitution.”
And this excerpt illuminates an integrity that deserves all our XL Terrestrial support:
“The second reason compelling me to refuse to cooperate with the Grand Jury subpoena is that this whole thing is not about what the government would have you believe it to be. This case is not about a videotape, itâ€™s not about identifying suspects of a crime and itâ€™s not about obtaining justice. If it were, then the U.S. Attorney would not have argued against the judge reviewing my outtakes in his chambers and the U.S. Attorney would have been more receptive to the inquires my defense team made.
No, this case is not about a videotape and itâ€™s not about justice. This entire matter is about eroding the rights of privacy and those of a free press. It is about identifying civil dissidents and using members of the news media to actively assist in what is essentially an anarchist witchhunt. This is what I have suspected from the beginning, but it has been brought closer into focus with the governmentâ€™s recent response to our motion. I will not allow myself to be put in a position of outing anarchists who likely are guilty of nothing more that possessing political beliefs outside the American norm.”
Read the whole entry here and follow the writing of this 24 year-old journalist, who is sure to be using this travesty of justice to sharpen his aim at the flailing empire and more of the current idiots at the helm. And it can only inspire more of us to do the same !
* The previous record for incarceration of a journalist was held by freelance writer Vanessa Leggett, who spent 168 days in federal custody in Houston for refusing to turn over notes about a murder investigation.
And in a case which hardly carries any similarity, but is extremely useful in highlighting the need for citizens making our own media (represented by people like Josh who use blogging and publicly accessible internet formats like indymedia.org) as alternatives to the corporate spheres of disinfo and big-budget propaganda:
Judith Miller, who spent ONLY 85 days in jail not for not revealing her sources in regards to the Libby case and the bizarre attempt of retribution against US Ambassador Joseph Wilson, SHOULD be in jail not for contempt of court but for contempt of the journalist profession and using her position at the NY Times to assist corrupt neo-cons push their now infamous fiction of Iraqâ€™s weapons of mass destruction, among other pathetic and criminal reports in her illustriously embedded career. Read Alexander Cockburnâ€™s ripping analysis back when Judith and the Times were the broiling scandal : â€œJudy Millerâ€™s Warâ€.