Matt Rothschild, editor of the Progressive, notes "Sarah Olson no longer has to choose between her liberty and her integrity. The freelance journalist, whom I profiled on January 17, will not be forced to testify at the court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada, who refuses to report for duty in Iraq. On January 29, Watada stipulated to the truth of the statements he gave Olson and another reporter. In exchange, the Army dropped two 'conduct unbecoming' charges against him."
Defend the Press
In a statement on its website, the National Press Club said:
Members of The National Press Club join their colleagues around the nation in celebrating the news that two journalists will not be subpoenaed to testify in the court martial of an Army officer, who has conceded that his quotes disparaging the administration's conduct of the war in Iraq were accurate.
Helen Zia, author and board member of the Women’s Media Center, writes about Sarah Olson's victory: "Subpoenas against journalists may be intended to put a damper on their reporting, but in Olson’s case, the overwhelming response has been an outpouring of support for her stand on free speech—for both journalists and for voices of dissent.
"Although the military has dismissed the subpoenas of journalists, Veterans for Peace Seattle Chapter organizers Tom Brookhart and Gerri Haynes, and Olympia-based anti-war organizer Phan Nguyen remain under order to testify against Lt. Watada. Tom Brookhart and Gerri Haynes came to the attention of Army prosecutors for their role in organizing the VFP National Convention in August. Phan Nguyen, a member of the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, was the moderator of a number of press conferences and rallies this summer regarding Lt.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Scott Goodstein, Defend The Press, 202-256-8320, email: sgcatalyst AT aol.com
John Stauber, Center for Media and Democracy, 608-260-9713
email: john AT prwatch.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 29, 2007
CONTACT: Scott Goodstein, Defend The Press, 202-256-8320, email: sgcatalyst AT aol.com; John Stauber, Center for Media and Democracy, 608-260-9713, email: john AT prwatch.org
Growing Coalition Demands the Army Withdraw Its Subpoena of Journalist Sarah Olson
Prominent Journalists, Media Organizations and Thousands of Citizens Defend the Press
Journalist Doug Ireland writes today on his blog Direland, "I was more than happy to lend my name in support of Sarah Olson's courageous and principled refusal to join in the prosecution effort to send Lt.
We've seen a powerful show of support for our Defend The Press campaign against military intimidation and harassment of journalists including Sarah Olson. In the past 72 hours Defend the Press has been endorsed by a diversity of news media and public interest organizations from Free Press to the Organic Consumers Association, from Mother Jones to Mothering magazines. Some of these organizations have sent emails to their thousands of members urging support for the campaign. Others have posted banners at the top of their websites. The National Press Club issued a news release on behalf of Sarah Olson and other subpoenaed journalists, and endorsed Defend The Press.