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Ear to the Ground

Michael Moore and Oliver Stone: Extraditing Assange Would Set a Horrible Precedent

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Posted on Aug 21, 2012
Photo by David Shankbone (CC-BY)

Michael Moore won an Academy Award for best feature documentary for “Bowling for Columbine.”

Noting in a New York Times Op-Ed that much of their work has made “the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government,” filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone argue that transferring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to U.S. custody would be disastrous for free speech everywhere.

Michael Moore and Oliver Stone in The New York Times:

If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws. The setting of such a precedent should deeply concern everyone, admirers of WikiLeaks or not.

We urge the people of Britain and Sweden to demand that their governments answer some basic questions: Why do the Swedish authorities refuse to question Mr. Assange in London? And why can neither government promise that Mr. Assange will not be extradited to the United States? The citizens of Britain and Sweden have a rare opportunity to make a stand for free speech on behalf of the entire globe.

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—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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