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Drop the charges against Jeffrey Sterling

Jeffrey Sterling

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Great news for freedom of the press! The Justice Department is backing away from its longtime threat to jail reporter James Risen.

Our petition "We Support James Risen Because We Support a Free Press" -- coordinated by RootsAction and sponsored by many organizations -- gained more than 100,000 signers, generated extensive news coverage and had major impact at the Justice Department.

But any victory lap must be short. As RootsAction co-founder Norman Solomon and investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler wrote in The Nation ("The Government War Against Reporter James Risen"), "truly independent reporting and whistleblowing need each other."

We must defend journalists AND whistleblowers. That's why it's so important that you sign and share the new petition that we’re launching today.

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling is set to go on trial next month for allegedly giving classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen -- about a CIA operation that provided flawed nuclear weapon blueprints to Iran in 2000.

The charges in the case are unproven. But no one disputes that Sterling told Senate Intelligence Committee staffers about that CIA action, dubbed Operation Merlin.

Click here to sign the petition in support of Sterling: "Blowing the Whistle on Government Recklessness Is a Public Service, Not a Crime."

As Risen's book State of War has documented, Operation Merlin was ill-conceived and dangerous. In the name of countering nuclear proliferation, the CIA risked promoting it.

By informing the staff of the Senate oversight committee about this reckless CIA operation, Jeffrey Sterling acted responsibly and commendably. He went through channels to be a whistleblower, despite the great likelihood that doing so would antagonize top CIA officials.

Tell the Justice Department to end the prosecution.

The legal pursuit of Sterling smacks of selective prosecution. When it suits their purposes, top officials often leak information that is "classified." As the New York Times reported days ago: "The government hates leaks of classified information. Except when it doesn't."

Please click here and sign the petition urging the Department of Justice to drop all charges against Jeffrey Sterling.

After signing the petition, forward this message to your friends. You can also share it from the webpage after taking the action yourself.

Thank you!

-- The RootsAction.org team

>>  Marcy Wheeler, ExposeFacts: "The Leaky CIA's Case Against Alleged Leaker"
>>  Norman Solomon, Marcy Wheeler, The Nation:
"The Government War Against Reporter Risen"
>>  Marcy Wheeler, ExposeFacts:
"The Government’s Single-Source Theory of Journalism"
>>  Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times,
"CIA Leaked Classified Information to Support Program"
>>  Marcy Wheeler, ExposeFacts:
"A Tale of Two Alleged Iran Nuke Leakers"
>>  Marcy Wheeler, ExposeFacts:
"Grassley Questions Why DOD IG Cannot Report on Leaks"



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