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Pacifica Radio Network Stands with Wikileaks and Julian Assange
by Repost
Wednesday Oct 10th, 2018 2:52 PM
Pacifica passed a resolution to defend Julian Assange who is the founder of Wikileaks. “The mainstream media has basically been silent about the harassment of Julian Assange and the attempt to imprison him. And even some so-called progressive outlets have been silent. I think that if Pacifica makes a statement, it will be very important and will serve to educate many people in this country and beyond.”
sm_assange_wikileaks-graphic_cover-up.jpg
Pacifica Stands with Wikileaks and Julian Assange
https://www.blackagendareport.com/pacifica-stands-wikileaks-and-julian-assange
Ann Garrison, BAR contributor 10 Oct 2018

The nation’s left-wing radio flagship is no longer an unwavering foe of imperialism and war, but Pacifica last week did the right thing for the Wikileaks founder.

“Assange could have turned his cyber-genius into a multi-billion dollar tech empire like Mark Zuckerburg’s, but instead he devoted himself to peace and justice.”

If you’re opposed to war, how can you not love Julian Assange? Peace has been his overarching goal ever since he hacked into Pentagon computers at age 17, and he still has hope. In 2011, he told RT:

“Nearly every war that has started in the past 50 years has been the result of media lies. The media could have stopped it. If they hadn’t reprinted government propaganda, they could’ve stopped it. But what does that mean? That means basically that populations don’t like wars. And populations have to be fooled into war. Populations don’t willingly and with open eyes go into war. So if we have a good media environment, then we’ll also have a peaceful environment.”

Unreasonably rational? Quixotic? Of course it is, but so are the Black Agenda Report, the Black Alliance for Peace, the Women’s March on the Pentagon, the United National Antiwar Coalition, and anyone else still arguing that peace is possible. Assange could have turned his cyber-genius into a multi-billion dollar tech empire like Mark Zuckerburg’s, but instead he devoted himself to peace and justice by exposing the machinations of state, corporate, and oligarchic power. For that he’s spent the last six years of his life as an asylee, in effect a political prisoner, inside Ecuador’s London Embassy. He has said many times that he’ll gladly walk out of the embassy to face minor bail-skipping charges if the UK will promises not to extradite him to the US to stand trial for publishing classified documents. The UK, however, will not make that promise.

Pacifica National Board votes to stand with Assange

On September 26, I reported here that a resolution in support of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange was pending before the national board of the Pacifica Radio Network, which was founded by pacifist and conscientious objector Lew Hill nearly 70 years ago. The board, which consists of four delegates each from KPFA-Berkeley, KPFK-Los Angeles, KPFT-Houston, WBAI-New York City, and WPFW-Washington D.C., and two delegates representing Pacifica’s 300 affiliated stations, passed the resolution on October 4.

In Pacifica’s heyday, during the 1960s and early '70s, one might have expected a unanimous vote, but Pacifica is not the anti-war, anti-imperial platform it once was. KPFA-Berkeley split during the 1990s over whether the US intervention in Yugoslavia was humanitarian or imperial. The fault line remains and it has been replicated at other stations.

On the 20th anniversary of the assassinations of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Ntaryamira, KPFA News played the received lies about the Rwandan Genocide three times a day, even though lies about the nature of US involvement in both Yugoslavia and Rwanda had long since become cornerstones of the so-called humanitarian argument for war. US wars are now preceded by NGO hurricane warnings that genocides like those in Yugoslavia and Rwanda are underway, but the slow-motion genocides in Gaza and DR Congo warrant little or no attention.

“Pacifica is not the anti-war, anti-imperial platform it once was.”

Some Pacifica reporters and hosts were so infatuated by the USA’s first Black president that they overlooked his expansion of Middle East wars and his institutionalization of weekly drone assassination planning at the White House. Many have succumbed to the fascist reduction of all US politics to pro- and anti-Trump positions.

Nevertheless, what remained of the once fiercely anti-war Pacifica prevailed on October 4. WBAI delegate Alex Steinberg motivated the resolution on the national board:

“The Julian Assange case is a key case for freedom of the press. As you know he’s been hunted by the US government with the cooperation of the UK government. And now it looks like the government of Ecuador is ready to hand him over to the tender mercies of the Justice Department. And his crime is very simple. He exposed the machinations of the US government in various ways through the whistleblowing activities of Wikileaks. We have to support Julian Assange at a time when he has few friends left.

“The mainstream media has basically been silent about the harassment of Julian Assange and the attempt to imprison him. And even some so-called progressive outlets have been silent. I think that if Pacifica makes a statement, it will be very important and will serve to educate many people in this country and beyond.”

Delegates voted 12 yes, 0 no, 4 abstain, and 3 present but not voting, as follows:

KPFA – Berkeley/Northern California

Sabrina Jacobs, abstain
Carole Travis, not present
Chris Cory, yes
Tom Voorhees, yes

KPFK – Los Angeles/Southern California

Grace Aaron, yes
Jonathan Alexander, yes
Jan Goodman, yes
Mansoor Sabbagh yes

KPFT-Houston
Adriana Casenave, present but not voting
Bill Crosier, yes
Joseph Davis, present but not voting
DeWayne Lark, yes

WPFW - Washington DC

Tony Leon, yes
Benito Diaz, present but not voting
Maskeelah-Myrtle Washington, abstain
Nancy Sorden, yes

WBAI-New York

Kathryn Davis, yes
Ken Laufer, yes
William Heerwagen, abstain
Alex Steinberg, yes

Affiliate stations (300):

Efia Nwangaza (WMPX), abstain
Alex Randall (WUVI), not present

Voters in the upcoming Pacifica elections may want to inquire as to how they were represented. That’s how democracy’s supposed to work after all.
§Pacifica Foundation Announces Support for Julian Assange
by Pacifica Foundation Friday Oct 12th, 2018 9:20 AM
The Pacifica Foundation which runs the Pacifica radio network is calling for support for whistleblower and journalist Julian Assange.

Pacifica Foundation Announces Support for Julian Assange
https://www.pacifica.org
Pacifica National Board asks for Freedom for Whistleblower

Oct. 11, 2018
For Immediate Release
Nancy Sorden Email: nsordenPFW [at] gmail.com
Alex Steinberg Email: pnbalex [at] gmail.com

Pacifica Foundation Announces Support for Julian Assange
https://www.pacifica.org
Pacifica National Board asks for Freedom for Whistleblower
(Berkeley) - The National Board of the Pacifica Foundation passed a resolution supporting the journalist and whistle blower Julian Assange at its October 4 meeting. The resolution said, “The Pacifica National Board calls for the freedom of Julian Assange and an end to the harassment of Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.”

The resolution noted that Assange has been deprived of access to the outside world, including the use of the Internet, in the past few months. It called for the end of efforts to imprison Assange by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom and an end to the attacks on journalists and whistle blowers by these governments.

Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks, has been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 when he was first given asylum. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno has been under pressure from the United States to hand Assange over to the British authorities. That pressure intensified after a meeting between Moreno and U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence in June of this year.

British authorities have repeatedly stated that if Assange steps one foot out of the Ecuadorian Embassy he will be immediately arrested and would then very likely be extradited to the United States, where he faces criminal charges that could put him in jail for the rest of his life. Assange continues to face a secret grand jury trial in Virginia, home of the Pentagon and CIA, on multiple charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. The charges against Assange are linked to special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion of Trump’s campaign with Russia to influence the 2016 elections. WikiLeaks has been accused of knowingly accepting hacked emails from Russian espionage agents stolen from the Clinton campaign. Assange has denied these charges.

The moves against Assange are aimed at denying free speech to Assange and WikiLeaks, who over the last decade have exposed the war crimes, coup plots and the mass surveillance carried out by the US government and its allies.

Over the years WikiLeaks has published reams of documents supplied by whistleblowers that chronicle the secret machinations of the U.S. and other governments behind the backs of its people. These included documentation of equipment expenditures and holdings in the Afghanistan war and a report informing a corruption investigation in Kenya. In April 2010, WikiLeaks released the so-called Collateral Murderfootage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed. Other releases in 2010 included the Afghan War Diary and the "Iraq War Logs". The latter allowed the mapping of 109,032 deaths in "significant" attacks by insurgents in Iraq that had been reported to Multi-National Force – Iraq, including about 15,000 that had not been previously published. In 2010, WikiLeaks also released the US State Department diplomatic "cables", classified cables that had been sent to the US State Department. In April 2011, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. WikiLeaks received much of this material from whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

In addition to publishing the hacked emails from the Democratic Presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2016, WikiLeaks published a trove of material from the CIA in 2017 exposing the cyber tools used by that agency to compromise the privacy of data on iPhones and other personal communications devices.

The defense of Julian Assange has received the support of a number of journalists and prominent individuals. Among those who have spoken up in defense of Assange has been the journalist Chris Hedges, the film maker Ken Loach as well as the film maker Oliver Stone. Oliver Stone sent a letter to the Pacifica National Board in the days leading up to its Oct. 4 meeting asking that the organization go on record defending Assange.

The motion was brought forth by Pacifica Board member Alex Steinberg who represents radio station WBAI in New York. Steinberg stated that,

“The Julian Assange case is a key case for freedom of the press. Assange has been hunted by the U.S. government and the government of the UK and it now looks like the government of Ecuador is getting ready to hand him over to the tender mercies of the U.S. Justice Department. His “crime” is very simple - he exposed the secret machinations of the U.S. government through the whistle-blowing activities of WikiLeaks. Mainstream news organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post have not only refused to defend Assange but instead have echoed some of the accusations against him. This is in sharp contrast to their defense of another whistleblower decades ago, Daniel Ellsberg, when they published the Pentagon Papers. ”

In standing up for the freedom of Julian Assange and of all whistle blowers the Pacifica Foundation reiterates its commitment to the principle of freedom of the press and the right of the public to know what its governments are doing no matter who is embarrassed by the release of this information. In doing so Pacifica is following in the traditions of its founder, Lew Hill, who as a pacifist, stood up to the U.S. government during World War II.

Pacifica calls on other media organizations and individuals to join us in defending Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and the principle of Freedom of the Press.

###

Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases. Those cases include the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI.

The Pacifica Foundation operates noncommercial radio stations in five major metropolitan areas, operates the Pacifica Radio Archives with decades of historical audio, and syndicates content to over 250 affiliate stations. It invented listener-sponsored radio.
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"Repost" calls out the board for their votes but won't write under own name.Kim KaufmanSunday Oct 14th, 2018 12:16 PM