With Amazon denying that pressure from Sen. Joe Lieberman was the deciding factor in its decision to expel WikiLeaks from its server, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has put out a call for an Amazon leaker to come forward and tell the inside story:
This would be a good time for Amazon insiders who know and perhaps can document the political pressures that were brought to bear -- and the details of the hasty kowtowing by their bosses -- to leak that information. They can send it to Wikileaks (now on servers outside the US), to mainstream journalists or bloggers, or perhaps to a site like antiwar.com, which has now appropriately ended its book-purchasing association with Amazon and called a boycott.
One more thought: While I can't say I'm alarmed or angry about the site's latest document dump, I'd be mad about the anti-WikiLeaks jihad even if I thought cablegate was the most irresponsible move in the history of journalism. The question of whether it was wise for WikiLeaks to publish those communiqués is separate from, and secondary to, the emerging argument over the scope of the First Amendment. There's nothing wrong with debating Julian Assange's editorial decisions, any more than there's anything wrong with debating the editorial decisions of The New York Times or Hustler. But with public officials calling for a publication to be declared a terrorist organization or otherwise suppressed, the free speech issue has to be paramount. I thought Submission was a mediocre film, but I didn't react to the murder of Theo van Gogh with a movie review.
[Via Andy Greenberg.]