RTM statement on withdrawn charges, subpoenas in Watada case

Statement by Jonathan Lawson, Executive Director, Reclaim the Media

Army prosecutors acted correctly in dropping speech-related charges against Lt. Ehren Watada, and by dropping subpoenas against journalists Sarah Olson and Gregg Kakesako. No American, civilian or military, should ever be made to fear punishment for exercising the right of free speech; these charges should never have been brought against Lt. Watada in the first place.

Likewise, the subpoenas against Olson and Kakesako represented an unacceptable attack upon press freedom. While these two journalists are no longer in jeopardy, others like Josh Wolf, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada remain imprisoned for refusing to comply with government orders to testify about their sources. All of these cases underline the need for new laws specifically shielding journalists from government-compelled testimony.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey