Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Victory for Sarah Olson, Freedom of Press

Monday night the U.S. Army announced it has dropped its subpoena of Sarah Olson in the Ehren Watada court martial.

The news broke in an article in the Honolulu Advertiser.

Sarah Olson made a statement which reads in part:

“Personally, I am pleased that the Army no longer seeks my participation in their prosecution of Lieutenant Watada. Far more importantly, this should be seen as a victory for the rights of journalists in the U.S. to gather and disseminate news free from government intervention, and for the rights of individuals to express personal, political opinions to journalists without fear of retribution or censure. ... Journalists are subpoenaed with an alarming frequency, and when they do not cooperate they are sometimes imprisoned. Videographer Josh Wolf has languished in federal prison for over 160 days, after refusing to give federal grand jury investigators his unpublished video out takes. It is clear that we must continue to demand that the separation between press and government be strong, and that the press be a platform for all perspectives, regardless of their popularity with the current administration.”

“While I am glad to see the subpoena against me in this court-martial dismissed,” Olson adds, “I still worry about the U.S. military using this tactic to chill dissenting voices and whistle blowers from coming forward in the future. We need to be vigilant at this critical time in our country’s history in order to push back against these tactics.”

I recently wrote about Olson and the ridiculous plight she was facing.


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