What excellent news! The U.S. Army is dropping its subpoena against journalist Sarah Olson in the US v Watada Court-Martial. In a press release, Olson had this to say about the decision:
“This is obviously a great victory for the principles of a free press that are so essential to this nation. 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. I am glad the growing number of dissenting voices within the military will retain their rights to speak with reporters. But I note with concern, that Lt. Watada still faces prosecution for exercising his First Amendment rights during public presentations. The preservation of these rights clearly requires vigilance.”
As Olson noted in a guest post on WIMN yesterday before the supoena was dropped,
“When speech itself becomes the crime, journalists – quite literally – become the investigative arm of the government.”
“It’s a journalist’s job to report the news, not to participate in government prosecutions of political speech.”
Thank you Sarah for your eloquent defense of journalistic integrity and free speech and congragulations on a very fine victory!
(For an earlier post on Olson’s case, click here)