In a bold step of government stifling free speech, Rep. Peter King, the new chair of the House Homeland Security committee, urged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to place the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, on the Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List — a government list that would ban people and companies nationwide from conducting business with both. Wow. Bold indeed.
“The U.S. government simply cannot continue its ineffective piecemeal approach of responding in the aftermath of WikiLeaks’ damage,” King wrote. “The administration must act to disrupt the WikiLeaks enterprise. The U.S. government should be making every effort to strangle the viability of Assange’s organization.”
Public Citizen continues to condemn the attacks on WikiLeaks.
“The attacks are an assault not only on WikiLeaks, but on freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of the Internet,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, in a December statement. “There are no bounds to or remedies for the extralegal campaign against WikiLeaks. The actions threatened and taken against WikiLeaks should worry all traditional journalists, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals who believe in the value of free speech. No safeguards prevent such a campaign against other disfavored NGOs or journalists.”
What do you think? Does the government have the right to muzzle WikiLeaks and Assange? Should it? Or do you think it’s an affront to free speech and would have a stifling effect?