For decades, U.S. democracy has benefited from brave federal employees or contractors who’ve risked their lives and freedom to leak classified information to journalists and the public. From Daniel Ellsberg’s leak of the “Pentagon Papers” exposing deceit about the Vietnam War to Ed Snowden’s leak of NSA documents that awakened the public about mass surveillance.
Today, a vengeful federal government – cheered on by Fox News and other media – seems intent on making an example of 25-year-old NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner, now behind bars WITHOUT BAIL.
Please sign here to put the federal government on notice that you want Ms. Winner to be afforded all her legal rights, including the right to bail.
Winner is accused of leaking an internal NSA document which offers an assessment that Russian military intelligence sought to access U.S. voter registration files before the 2016 election.
Whatever you think of the document (its assessment has been debated) or the action taken by whoever leaked it to investigative online outlet The Intercept, we ought to agree that Reality Leigh Winner should not be subjected to a witch hunt or persecution.
President Trump has vowed a total war on leakers whom he regularly scapegoats for his own erratic and indefensible actions; Winner is the first in Trump’s crosshairs.
Sign here to defend Winner’s rights to a fair judicial process.
Unfortunately, Reality Winner is already being tried in the media . . . mostly for over-the-top social-media posts hostile to President Trump or comments sympathetic to causes like Standing Rock and immigrants’ rights.
Winner, who served without reprimand as an Air Force linguist for six years before taking a job with an NSA contractor, is now facing up to 10 years in prison under the Espionage Act.
When the Obama Administration prosecuted more "national security" whistleblowers for espionage than all previous administrations combined, RootsAction.org activists stepped up to defend them and the public’s right to know about secret, reprehensible government actions taken in our name.
Now is the time to step up to tell President Trump: Do not scapegoat or persecute Ms. Winner.
Sign here to defend Reality Winner’s legal rights.
Trump has been “at war with reality” long before this young woman with the unusual name surfaced. Let’s stand up for Reality.
Reality Winner’s mother told CNN: "My biggest fear in all of this is that she's not going to get a fair trial. She's going to be made an example of. I'm terrified for her right now because of the news, the climate, the social media."
Winner’s mother and stepfather told the judge that their daughter had no criminal record and they offered to pay her bond by putting up the family home in Texas, but the judge denied bail.
The Courage Foundation has set up an emergency defense fund for Winner: https://couragefound.org/reality-winner
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Winner family with travel, counseling and other expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/2d9rnm64
Thank you --
The RootsAction.org Team
PS After Winner’s arrest, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden commented:
“The prosecution of any journalistic source without due consideration by the jury as to the harm or benefit of the journalistic activity is a fundamental threat to the free press. As long as a law like [the Espionage Act] remains on the books in a country that values fair trials, it must be resisted.”
Please support Reality Winner’s rights.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.