What the U.S. government is doing to destroy a legally operating entity—the short list

Federal employees and contractors—including the Dept of Homeland Security!—have been ordered to stay away from the WikiLeaks’ site and from documents made available by WikiLeaks. This prohibition includes the home use of newspapers and personal computers.

The U.S. Army, the FBI, and the Justice Department are threatening to prosecute WikiLeaks for “encouraging the theft of government property.”

The feds have teams of lawyers on the lookout for a pretext to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. The government has not shown a similar interest in prosecuting the scores of right-wing bloggers who have publicly called for his murder.

The Obama administration has asked (intimidated?) Britain, Germany, Australia, and other countries to find ways to prosecute WikiLeaks and its founder.

The Library of Congress has blocked access to WikiLeaks on its computers.

The feds have threatened to prosecute newspapers and websites that have published or posted documents made available by WikiLeaks.

The U.S. State Department has warned Columbia University that diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks are “still considered classified,” and that knowledge of them would “call into question students’ ability to deal with confidential information” should they apply for a job with that agency. (How would the government know that a private citizen had accessed such documents?)

Private people and entities that the U.S. government might have influenced in its war on WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks’ founder is on bail in Sweden after being charged with raping two women. Because there is no better way to discredit an organization than by charging its founder with sex crimes, and because the U.S. government appears to be doing all it can, short of murder, to destroy WikiLeaks, a scenario in which private citizens were paid to make false accusations appears conceivable.

Moneybookers and Paypal, sites that handled donations to WikiLeaks, have ended their affiliation with WikiLeaks.

Visa and Mastercard have stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks.

Amazon.com has cancelled its web-hosting contract with WikiLeaks.

Several of the above companies violated their contracts with their users and with Wikileaks when they cancelled their services.

However much you dislike WikiLeaks, please remember that it has never been charged with any crime (it is a felony to steal government documents, not to print them), and that the government’s many threats of prosecution of WikiLeaks, its founder, and those who reproduced material that WikiLeaks provided; as well as its attempt to encourage other nations to prosecute WikiLeaks or its founder can best be understood as harassment. Even if the feds can’t throw anyone in jail, they can discredit them or break them financially, and if they are willing to destroy one law-abiding person or entity today, is it unrealistic to worry they might go after another tomorrow?

Support WikiLeaks. Support it against the tyranny of the U.S. government and its lackeys. Support it if for no other reason than that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Support it because no government that uses its vast resources to destroy a law-abiding person or organization is ever your friend.